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Space Combat

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Hey guys, I've been GMing since the release of EotE and so far my party hasn't done any space combat for one reason for another. Last night we play a game of AoR and one of my players was in an A-Wing while the other two were on a Capitol ship. Doesn't really matter how, but the A-Wing and his squadron were attacked by Ties. One was an interceptor and on the first shot rolled two Succeses which, if I'm reading this right, destroyes that player.

I've read the chapter in both books several times now and some of the stats don't make sense to me as far as armor and hull strength. Can anyone clear this up for me?

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While I haven't done enough play testing to judge the various ship stats, I do believe that player characters in ships aren't "destroyed" unless you score the last two crit results.  If the ship's hull trauma is exceeded the ship stops working and suffers a critical hit.  The ship is basically just dead in space and the pilot can eject.

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  I believe there is an option for a last ditch repair, but it is really only viable  to get the ship limping away from combat.  I admit that with the more fragile starfighters it really does seem like combat can be over in the blink of an eye based on a lucky roll.  Still it could have very easily went the other way for the A-Wing Pilot vs. the Ties. 

 

  It does tend to emulate the films pretty well, where anything more than a graze pretty much takes out a fighter shields or no.  Dogfighting is a risky endeavor in this system, but one that will rarely result in PC death unless a lucky crit is rolled or a PC is abandoned out in space.  When the A-wing pilot was shot down it could be used as a good set up for his friends to mount a rescue in a shuttle braving the swarm of ties to get a tractor beam on him and haul him to safety.  If they aren't pilots they could use other skills, a social character could try to convince the Captain of the capital ship to move in to cover their downed friend.  A mechanic could try to increase the efficiency or power of the ships weapons and shields to be able to eliminate the Ties faster.  I do understand how it could get boring for PC's to be instantly taken out anytime they jump in a fighter, but it should occur less as they gain more pilot centric talents.

 

 Another approach to take if you want to have a player character last longer you could use Minion Tie Pilots but keep them in very small groups, or even as single units, that way their dice pools would be very small with little to no upgrades. 

Edited by kungfumick

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Since I haven't had much actual play time with the system yet I took my dice app and simulated some attacks by a single Tie Pilot minion versus an A-Wing with no defensive talents.  I did 60 attack rolls, half with the A-Wing taking no actions or maneuvers to increase it's defense, and 30 with the A-Wing using Evasive Maneuvers (upgrades all incoming and outgoing attacks once).

 

the Tie Pilot minion is only rolling 3 dice from agility

I did not keep track of advantage, but I don't recall ever seeing enough come up to activate the Tie's Linked quality.

 

Without any defensive flying

9 hits on the A-Wing that inflict 7 damage before soak, meaning it isn't one shot.

11 hits that take the A-Wing out in one shot.

10 misses.

 

Not too great, odds are against our Rebel Pilot it would seem.

 

If our A-Wing takes Evasive Maneuvers things change quite a bit. (I also did not take into effect Despair rolled by the Ties)

5 hits that inflict 7 damage

8 hits that one shot him

17 shots that miss

 

Now with Evasive Maneuvers our A-Wing pilot is at a reduced chance to hit, but if he has any training in piloting and a decent Agility then it should still be a good chance to hit the Ties unless they start on the defensive as well (which would reduce their odds of hitting even further).  Now our Tie Pilots could try to Gain the Advantage to negate the A-Wings Evasive Maneuvers but that puts things more on the A-Wing side as he should probably have a better piloting check (if he doesn't he should transfer out of starfighter command).

 

So yeah this is just a small sample of rolls but it really seems even a simple 1 die upgrade to the difficulty can make a big difference.  If this A-Wing Pilot invested the exp he could have a few more Setback dice to throw at his opponents, and could be treated as 1 silhouette smaller (coupled with his sensor jammer I believe that would force the Ties to roll at base difficulty 3 instead of 2).

 

With just 1 purchase of Defensive Driving and Tricky Target Maneuvers and using Evasive Maneuvers.

 

4 hits for 7 dmg

5 one hit kills

21 misses

 

and each miss usually had 1-3 threat for the Tie which could be system strain

Edited by kungfumick
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Alright, that does seem a bit better laid out like that. Dogfights still seem really risky, specially since I just remembered that silhouette 3 or less are destroyed and the pilot killed unless the GM decides it's just disabled. I think I'll just have to warn my players that going toe to toe in a fighter is a high risk situation. Thanks for rolling that for me, by the way. You rock.  

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Not many fighter pilots will survive a head to head engagement.  Usually you use your wingman to help with an offensive split.  Enemy goes after one, while the wingman slides in behind the enemy creating a nice sandwich

Edited by kinnison

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Hey guys, I've been GMing since the release of EotE and so far my party hasn't done any space combat for one reason for another. Last night we play a game of AoR and one of my players was in an A-Wing while the other two were on a Capitol ship. Doesn't really matter how, but the A-Wing and his squadron were attacked by Ties. One was an interceptor and on the first shot rolled two Succeses which, if I'm reading this right, destroyes that player.

I've read the chapter in both books several times now and some of the stats don't make sense to me as far as armor and hull strength. Can anyone clear this up for me?

 

I actually think this is an issue.  A-Wings and Tie Fighters should be very difficult to hit because their speed and maneuverability.  Of course this isn't new to AoR.  

 

At the very least, a ships handling should factor into the difficulty.  Korjik and I discussed that Shields should have been built into the Armor value (with the ability to lose them and increase their power) and then positive handing would add as setback dice.  Negative handing would add as boost dice. 

 

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This is not the X-wing, or "Rogue Squadron" video game where enemies die with a few hits, while you take a pounding and keep going. 

 

George Lucas always modeled SW space combat like WWII air combat. (even if it completly ignores real physics in a zero-G vacuum) in WWII most planes if they got hit ended up limping home, or going down in flames.  The whole idea was to leave your opponent with nothing but high deflection shots if anything at all, and wait for your wingman to take him out while he was not looking at his 6. 

 

But i agree, in this game system the Art of manuver is lost.  YOu just "Go evasive" and that is it.  Nothing else to avoid getting hit

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Agreed. The current rules capture the spirit of the movies quite well, but almost a bit too well. As an analogy, most of the time in the movies when somebody is shot, they go down or are out of the fight immediately. In EotE/AoR, characters are typically capable of taking multiple hits in the name of fun before they go down.

Of the three books, I think AoR is the one best suited and the most in need of an overhaul of some kind to space combat. In particular, fighter pilot play needs to be robust, engaging, and versatile to base a campaign on (it's a major part of the original trilogy and of the EU). As it stands, I could see myself running it as an incidental set piece every few sessions, but not much more, and that feels like a missed opportunity for something so heavily entrenched in the setting.

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The curiosity to me is just how exactly do you try and overhaul starfighter combat without getting too detailed in the sense of "going from RPG to wargaming"... frankly, WotC/Saga-style. Mind you, that game did abstract the hell out of some things, i.e. no facings (due to the assumption that every combatant was maneuvering in such a way that they would always have a firing angle).

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Note that actually destroying a ship requires a 4th crit - the second can't hit the needed 139+ needed to kill it. Excepting, of course, weapons with Vicious, but starship scale weapons lack that trait so far.

 

(139-144 isn't actually a kill, either, but if it's due to hull trauma, it can result in further criticals. 145+ is a definite kill.)

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Doesn't it say that with a ship with silhouette 3 or lower that the ship is destroyed when the Hull Points are exceeded? Sorry I don't have a page number.  

Not on 159 in the entry on Hull Trauma Threshold.

Not on 170 in the entry on Performing a Combat Check 6. Reduce Damage, Apply to Hull Trauma Threshold, and Apply Critical Hits

On 173, however, "For vehicles silhouette 3 or smaller and of no particular importance [...] it simply explodes." (exemplars omitted, color added)- essentially, that passage is a minion rule. Note that any vehicle with a PC aboard is not "of no particular importance" and thus would not "simply explode."  Which is explicitly spelled out on 174.

 

Note also: Minions die from a critical hit, ANY critical hit. Fighters doing likewise when not inhabited by PC, Nemesis or individually named Rival NPCs is just an extension of the Minions rules. Anything Silhouette 4+ is big enough not to be subject to Minion  rules. (Unless, of course, the GM is playing out some major battle like Endor or Mon Calamari, in which case, Sil 4 ships might go boom on the first crit...)

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I actually think this is an issue.  A-Wings and Tie Fighters should be very difficult to hit because their speed and maneuverability.  Of course this isn't new to AoR.  

 

At the very least, a ships handling should factor into the difficulty.  Korjik and I discussed that Shields should have been built into the Armor value (with the ability to lose them and increase their power) and then positive handing would add as setback dice.  Negative handing would add as boost dice. 

 

Why not just rule that if the target ship is going faster then you, add a setback dice to hit it... and if the target ship has better handling then yours, add another setback dice to hit it.

 

It's a simple solution and should help up the survival rate of more faster and agile crafts.

What do you guys think ??

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I think that's what Gain the Advantage is for ;)

 

Armor, Defense rating, Hull Trauma, and System Strain are better representative of straight mechanical advantages. I say let the dice handle the rest. 

Edited by awayputurwpn
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I think that's what Gain the Advantage is for ;)
 
Armor, Defense rating, Hull Trauma, and System Strain are better representative of straight mechanical advantages. I say let the dice handle the rest.

A single crewed vessel that tries to Gain the Advantage is one that's not shooting at you for a turn. While he's doing that, just shoot him and be done with him.

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I think that's what Gain the Advantage is for ;)

Armor, Defense rating, Hull Trauma, and System Strain are better representative of straight mechanical advantages. I say let the dice handle the rest.

A single crewed vessel that tries to Gain the Advantage is one that's not shooting at you for a turn. While he's doing that, just shoot him and be done with him.
This is why freighters have a leg up single-man fighters, to be sure. But ship-to-ship combat is rarely about one TIE fighter vs. one other ship. TIEs are deployed in massive numbers in combat to overwhelm the opposition. So while you might "get one," there are several others in the minion group that still have the advantage over you. Edited by awayputurwpn

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I think that's what Gain the Advantage is for ;)

Armor, Defense rating, Hull Trauma, and System Strain are better representative of straight mechanical advantages. I say let the dice handle the rest.

A single crewed vessel that tries to Gain the Advantage is one that's not shooting at you for a turn. While he's doing that, just shoot him and be done with him.
This is why freighters have a leg up single-man fighters, to be sure. But ship-to-ship combat is rarely about one TIE fighter vs. one other ship. TIEs are deployed in massive numbers in combat to overwhelm the opposition. So while you might "get one," there are several others in the minion group that still have the advantage over you.

 

It's why you have a wingman - you let one of them bait the target into following them, and then the wingman swoops in behind it and destroy it while it's too busy trying to go after your wing.

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