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Brief update on v5 - space combat

PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:48 am
by Rob Lang
How much sweat have I secreted in the pursuit of an interesting space combat mechanic? For v4, it was the bit that took the longest and, perhaps, the largest waste of time! In campaigns that followed, we didn't play the space mechanic nearly as much as fire fighting but why?

Firstly, it's quite slow/cumbersome. Secondly, it doesn't feel interesting and lastly our campaigns didn't involve the players being part of a spacecraft that was worth anything! Players will (rightly) avoid space combat if they think their spacecraft is rubbish. The diaspora of core mechanics of v4 made it more difficult to remember, so that didn't help.

With v5, I've sharpened it up. The core idea is still there but it's all built around a combat initiative:

In space combat, every player acts to increase a combat initiative to give the gunners a better chance of hitting their targets. Shields are lost, hull is damaged and spacecraft system (life support/engines etc) are targeted. Each spacecraft has a base combat initiative and then each player crew member does their specialist job to add to it. The jobs are Operations, Engineer and Pilot and Gunner.

For a crew member to add to the combat initiative, they need to pass a skill check. If they fail then they have no effect this turn. More effective actions have a higher Target Number, so carry a bigger risk.

The player's combat initiative is added to each Gunner's die roll. The combat initiative of the enemy is added to the gunner's Target Number. Shields need to be destroyed first and then the gunner can choose to shoot the hull (easy) or a system (hard).

I'm currently creating test materials so that I can get my chums around a pub table and give it a test. I have a plan for the test evening:

  1. Pre-made characters - for each role have good ones and bad ones.
  2. Pre-made spacecraft and NPCs - NPC craft are greatly simplified for the GM, the important thing is that the players
  3. First scenario is with players outgunning the NPCs
  4. Second scenario is with NPCs outgunning the PCs - at what point do the players run away?
  5. Third scenario is a balance where one part of the PC's setup is weak - either the spacecraft or the character. This is to test how the die rolls affect the situation.

This should give the limits of the scenario and allow me to test the "balanced" case for the GM who like to fudge a fight to make it more fair/interesting.

Re: Brief update on v5 - space combat

PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:27 pm
by DOC_Agren

I will be interested in how this turns out...

Not that we are playing anymore :cry:
in our group they had this installed in Juan cabin, so I didn't have to be on the bridge as much, something about trying to be helpful and pushing buttons and opening cargo bay as we were going into hyperspace.
So I had a training machine for space combat to play with and when need it was turned to active guns by the bridge.
and just remember this Great Quote when shooting.

Re: Brief update on v5 - space combat

PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:13 am
by Rob Lang
Sorry to hear you're not playing anymore but I I'm thrilled that you did! Knowing that others have had pleasure from the game spurs me on greatly.

I'll keep things updated. I've written a couple more words here as I am approaching playtest land with Byrn. I've gone super-old-school with hand-written sheets! It felt good to do.

I love the Juan cabin. Being a Star Wars (and Millennium Falcon) fanatic, I would love every combat to be as thrilling as that where everyone has a job to do. I played other homebrews years back where everyone waited patiently for the pilot to roll the dice a lot of time to decide the outcomes.

Re: Brief update on v5 - space combat

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:34 pm
by DOC_Agren
Well Rob had randolph not passed, we had stuff planned for ICAR.

And we did enjoy the system, which is why I'm still following board.

And yes Juan had fun, and was blast to play. He maybe didn't always make the smart decisions, but he got things done. Plus name another Security Officer who was banned unless ordered by the capt from the Bridge. Or who method of salvage, was to us a "Fire/rescue Axe" to cut or rip it out of place. Never made the professional salvage guys happy