Special Actions

Star Fleet Universe Discussion Board: A Call to Arms Star Fleet: ACTASF Book 1.2 (The ADB Revision): Special Actions
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Archive through February 24, 2014  25   02/24 12:29pm

We are planning a revision here in which some special orders (many or perhaps all of those without power drain) will not preclude you from using some other special orders. We don't want to complicate the game system by having every ship do everything possible every turn, but we do want to make it possible to perform certain routine functions while also performing certain extraordinary functions. (You obviously won't be able to perform two Power Drain orders simultaneously. Then again, we may want to take another look at what is and is not a power drain and if some exceptional ships can do two power-drain actions.)
By Tony L. Thomas (Scoutdad) on Monday, February 24, 2014 - 11:19 am: Edit

I do recall the 'Directed Targeting' special action discussion, but I'm not sure how you'd institute it without totaling breaking the system.

without damage allocation, the only way would be to allow an added chance for a critical hit on the weapons or the power systems... and either of those is only going to make the ships go "BOOM" even faster than they already do.

By Gary Carney (Nerroth) on Monday, February 24, 2014 - 11:21 am: Edit

Will there be a new thread opened up to talk about cloaks when the time comes?

Also, was the implied assumption of the movement reduction choice for Power Drain Special Actions based on a reduction of the ship's Baseline Speed to 16 (in FC terms)?

If so, perhaps that might also mean that PD in turn could have grounds for shifting from 6" to 8", along with the potential for a change in cloaked movement (since both would be set to the same Baseline Speed in FC).

But then, the Power Drain issue could be more of an abstract (say, if an FC player was reduced to Baseline Speed 8 and only had enough Energy Points to spare for +4 acceleration over the course of the turn).

Or from a game design basis, such a change to Power Drain might have a more broad-ranging effect, since the playtesting to this point has been done on the basis of a 6" speed cap.

In short, would moving the PD speed cap to 8" be more trouble than it was worth - and if it were to be put up for consideration, who would stand to gain (or lose) from such a change?



One thought I had was to reduce the effect of the criticals scored in this fashion, but to inflict more low-level crits at a time. Say, to have only one critical hit effect inflicted by each hit (and not the others below it), to have subsequent critical hits at the same location scored separately (not combined with the first one), and to ignore the "escalate" results on the critical hit table. Plus it would be limited to those ranges, weapons, and firing modes which permit directed targeting in FC.

So, if you scored three level 2 criticals when targeting weapons, you'd disable three random weapon lines and score 3 additional points of damage, but not get any level 1 criticals (or higher-level criticals) by default the way you do when using the "standard" targeting setup. Plus you'd have to be within DT range (whatever that would be in this case), be using eligible weapon types (so no DT from hellbores when the Hydrans show up), and avoid using overloads in the same volley.

By Tony L. Thomas (Scoutdad) on Monday, February 24, 2014 - 11:56 am: Edit

The goal is K.I.S.S.

This sounds anything but...

By Gary Carney (Nerroth) on Monday, February 24, 2014 - 12:16 pm: Edit

Let me see if I can make it less convoluted:


Target Enemy Weapons!
Crew Quality Check: Automatic
Power Drain: No
Effect: The captain orders his weapons officer to target the enemy ship's weapons systems. This can only be done if the firing ship is within 5 inches of the target at the moment of firing. Any critical hits scored against the target ship count as a Weapons critical on the Systems Table. However, unlike with "normal" critical hits, the results from each critical hit are applied separately (and are not cumulative). The Extra Damage and Effects listed below the scored Critical Hit are not added, subsequent critical hits to the same location do not add to the Critical Score (but are treated as separate critical hits instead), and any Escalate results are ignored. Overloaded and Seeking weapons cannot be used as part of the same volley. Certain future direct-fire weapons may also be ineligible when using this Special Action.

In this example, a Romulan FireHawk recieves three critical hits to its weapons array, due to an enemy ship using this Special Action. Since all three critical hits are level 2, the Romulan (rather than combining them into a higher critical level) randomly disables three weapon lines, and scores three additional points of damage. No level 1 criticals are scored "by default", so the FireHawk's targeting systems remain intact for the time being.


Hmm, that still seems a bit wordy. I'm not sure how to cut it down while still covering the same effect.

(Presumably, a "target power systems" SA would work the same way, but perhaps treat rolls of 4, 5, or 6 as 1s, 2, and 3s respectively.)

But then, if the idea simply isn't something that would work well in ACtA:SF terms, fair enough.

By Lee Storey (Storeylf) on Monday, February 24, 2014 - 12:29 pm: Edit

It's wordy because it's complicated, and you haven't even covered all the issues. It starts to get in the way of tracking criticals - do I now have to track that the crit came from an aimed shot so that I know not to apply the escalate. Do I have to record how many level 2 crits I took in that aimed shot, so that when I repair it I remember to add all the weapons back and not just 1, etc.

Far to complicated.

By Gary Carney (Nerroth) on Monday, February 24, 2014 - 12:38 pm: Edit

The firing ship would only be able to use eligible weapons in the same volley when using this SA, so you'd only have to worry about not applying escalation when dealing with that particular damage resolution. (If a second or third ship fires on the same target without using directed targeting, their critical hit scores would be treated normally.)

The DT ship would be prevented from firing any non-eligible weapons offensively (but could still use drones or ADDs in a counter-drone mode defensively), so the same ship has to decide if it wants to target weapons (or power) in a given turn at the time the SA is chosen.

But that's a fair point about what you do in the End Phase. If you let them all come back at once, that might be too much of a benefit - but if you don't, you add to the record-keeping.

Perhaps simply let them all come back? Treat it as an additional factor in how criticals scored by directed targeting are less dangerous than the "standard" setup.

By Charles Lister (Daboss) on Monday, February 24, 2014 - 01:13 pm: Edit

I did previously ask people if you could target specific enemy systems in the SFU and was tod no?

By Tony L. Thomas (Scoutdad) on Monday, February 24, 2014 - 01:20 pm: Edit

In Federation Commander, you have the option (before rolling the dice) to target either Power or Weapons.

Making this declaration, gives you a 50% chance of hitting the system targeted, but there are a few negative effects to compensate for the increased probability of hitting the desired system.

Star Fleet Battles has an optional rule for non-violent combat, but I don't know anyone who's ever used it.

By Gary Carney (Nerroth) on Monday, February 24, 2014 - 01:24 pm: Edit

EDIT: Tony covered it already.

By Tony L. Thomas (Scoutdad) on Monday, February 24, 2014 - 01:25 pm: Edit

It's still way too involved (and will ultimately require record keeping) for a game that is supposed to be quick and painless.

By Tony L. Thomas (Scoutdad) on Monday, February 24, 2014 - 01:28 pm: Edit

But if I were even to consider such a thing, there's an easier way to go about it.

Change the Weapons critical row to 6.

Target Power!
Power Drain (there has to be a penalty... whether its justifiable or not)
CQC: 8
If successful, any critical hits scored in this volley add a -1 modifier to the system roll. This special action cannot include overloaded weapons, seeking weapons, or weapons with an area effect.

Target Weapons!
Power Drain (there has to be a penalty... whether its justifiable or not)
CQC: 8
If successful, any critical hits scored in this volley add a +1 modifier to the system roll. This special action cannot include overloaded weapons, seeking weapons, or weapons with an area effect.

By Charles Lister (Daboss) on Monday, February 24, 2014 - 01:29 pm: Edit

Be easier to just have a Special Action that gave your weapons precise (or a +1 to the roll if you already have precise)?

By Lee Storey (Storeylf) on Monday, February 24, 2014 - 01:56 pm: Edit

For special actions a CQ check is a penalty, if you fail to you waste an action. CQ check and Power drains I don't like. Aiming definitely feels a CQ thing rather than a power thing.

By Tony L. Thomas (Scoutdad) on Monday, February 24, 2014 - 02:01 pm: Edit

Good point.

I'm not really considering these actions, just attempting to show how you can over-thin things and add unnecessary complexity.

I didn't really think it was a PD thing, hence my parenthetical comments, but one could indeed make it a difficult CQC item.
If successful, great - aim away. If unsuccessful, then you've used one of your valuable special actions that can't be used fo something else.

By Gary Carney (Nerroth) on Monday, February 24, 2014 - 02:05 pm: Edit

That version looks much tidier.

Would either have a range limit, akin to the ten-hex DT range in FC?

(Not that the odds are high on either showing up in the game, but could they be stashed away for use in a later scenario?)

By Iain McGhee (Irmcg) on Monday, February 24, 2014 - 02:09 pm: Edit

Or Precise weapons can declare one critical line to target before rolling to hit but lose any Accurate bonus and criticals scored elsewhere are reduced to basic hits. Not that I'm advocating adding it in, but if it was I wouldn't want it to be something that was done easily.

By Tony L. Thomas (Scoutdad) on Monday, February 24, 2014 - 02:29 pm: Edit

Gary: Yes... if it were added, it would have a range limit...
a short one!

By Dan Wideman (Kyrolon) on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - 01:07 am: Edit

IF you want this option for a scenario specific reason why not completely divorce it from the crit table?


Target Weapons!
CQ 8
The captain orders the weapons officer to target the enemy ship's weapons. This may only be attempted with a direct fire weapon. Roll to hit as normal, but with a -1 penalty to all AD rolls. If the target ship is hit beyond shield damage roll on the Attack table for damage as normal. If a critical hit is rolled, rather than rolling for a critical hit location as normal, instead the ship loses the use of one random weapon bank for the remainder of the game. In addition, regardless of the amount of damage the attack would normally do this attack will only do 1 point of hull damage.

That has the advantage of being fairly simple, working within the normal mechanics (mostly) and having drawbacks (as Tony requested)

If you wanted to do the same thing for power systems each critical roll would result in a 2 in movement penalty.

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