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Post-Game thoughts

 
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Dan Ibekwe
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Joined: 08 Mar 2007
Posts: 452
Location: Manchester UK

PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:47 pm    Post subject: Post-Game thoughts Reply with quote

Well, that went well.

A cloaked Orion Slaver, carrying a double Marine compliment, approaches and lands on a planet with an undefended mine, occupied by only four 'units' of civilians.

A Navy cruiser, heading in from the opposite corner of the map, launches shuttles carrying Marines as she passes the planet, beams down more directly onto the mine, and hits the Orion with overloads point-blank just before the pirate enters the planet's atmosphere, inflicting minor damage.

Cue SFM:LS battle around the mine; the civvies were evacuated and after a prolonged and bloody struggle the pirates are overwhelmed - their HQ dying to opportunity fire as they tried to leg it back to their ship - and the Slaver, under cloak throughout, departs.

Thoughts - there's no 'morale' or 'motivation' test rules - the pirates fought to the last villain even when the situation became hopeless. They could not beam out since the Slaver remained cloaked. Because...

There does not seem to be any rule preventing orbiting ships firing at landed ships within close proximity to friendlies. One might think that a salvo of overloaded Hellbores arriving a few dozen metres away might be viewed as unhelpful by your own marines, or at any rate by their next of kin. Might have made the mine buildings look a bit untidy, too. A 'Danger Close' rule, perhaps?

Once the last pirate marines were on the surface, there didn't seem to be any reason why the Navy marines couldn't board their ship - they were close enough to. Do starships have automated defences around their airlocks?

Generally, the game went well, providing just the right level of decision-making - do we shoot, move or assault? - mutual support and thinking ahead were rewarded and, well, it was fun.

Any chance of including UAVs?
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Gimp
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Joined: 13 Feb 2013
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Location: Tucson, AZ

PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When you add 'danger close' concepts, you add a layer of complexity because of the various races willingness to use things like that. It would be easy to decide how you want to run that scenario by scenario. Skipping heavy weapons would simply mean the ship's phasers were set on stun.

UAV's have less meaning in a world with scanners, though the RPG certainly mentions transportable equipment that fits the bill, so you could expect them to be using high tech surveillance gear. An actual UAV might be too exposed to be functional.

Morale rules can be very nice, or very cumbersome, so I think they decided to keep it simple. Again, players can add quick and easy morale rules, like, 'withdraw after X% casualties,' or simply use the victory point system to establish the point where the enemy breaks and runs or surrenders. That allows far more flexibility, as forces can be tailored by the player's view of the various races, as well as their individual ship and force commanders.
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Dal Downing
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It has been stated by SVC and I am pretty sure I read it in the SFM:A booklet that if a Starship Weapon System into a SFM Map the entire map is just gone, game over, no more quarters man.

Now sure you could house rule it and say that Units in SFB like Ships, Shuttles and Ground Base would survive until they are hit past there damage thresholds but the whole point of the SFM game is over.

It has also been stated the Starship phasers in the SFU can not stun because if you miscalculate something as small as elevation differance you would literally crush the troops you were trying to stun.
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Gimp
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never read that idea for stunning ground troops in SFB. I always just remember an episode from the original series where they pulled it off.

Planets for SFM are likely to have high tech jammers that would make accurate locks for that difficult, or SFM could be really boring for a lot of scenarios, unless attacking a shielded target by walking through under the shield to fight.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gimp wrote:
Never read that idea for stunning ground troops in SFB. I always just remember an episode from the original series where they pulled it off.

Steve pretty much called BS on that idea. You can't use ship-board weapons on planetary targets with that level of control. You either smoke it or you don't fire. There is no "stun" on ship-board weapons.
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
There does not seem to be any rule preventing orbiting ships firing at landed ships within close proximity to friendlies.


As far as I know, there is no rule allowing orbiting ships to fire down into SFM combat. Anything not specifically allowed is prohibited.

As for morale rules, I think that's more of an issue for scenario design. Sure, bloody-minded players can order their units to fight to the death even when defeat is clearly inevitable, but in the real world many of the Orions would surrender. (Those who had special knowledge of Orion operations, such as officers, might suicide to avoid capture. Orions do have suicide bombs for a reason.)
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Current rules in Federation Commander allow for firing on ships that have landed. Likewise, firing on a ship and firing for "general devastation" are different, so firing on a ship doesn't cause devastation, and causing devastation doesn't harm a landed ship.

That said, nothing has been stated as to what happens in the immediate vicinity of landed ship when it is fired on. I will ask about that.
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Gimp
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An interesting thought. I would imagine the shields would absorb quite a bit of the energy, but there would have to be some spillover, and once shields were down the area would be getting all of the excess energy.

I picture groung combat tending to be with shuttle or transporter delivered troops, with the occasional use of the landing capable troop ships, but with the ship delivering troops some distance from the target. Disembarking from a starship would be a really dangerous proposition for the ship, so I would expect them to do it somewhere the enemy wasn't expecting. The only targets worth ground combat would be important strategic targets, where shipboard weapon's fire would be a really bad idea. A suicide bomber running up into the troop deployment exits, and getting insude the ship before going boom, would be a rather unpleasant proposition.

As for the original episode shipboard stun, I could picture it being used by normal ships, but as an indiscriminate weapon. The ground attack version of non-violent combat. The show had a legendary crew, so they could pull off the amazing accuracy as part of the legendary captain's bluff to win, tied in with the legendary engineer, legendary science officer, etc, etc, etc...
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Mike
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe the TOS episode (A Piece of the Action) had Scotty setting up that shot with some amount of lead time.
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Gimp
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's been a while since I watched it. I know there was a little time, but not a huge stretch. Enough for the legendary effects to kick in, obviously, for SFB purposes.

Of course, I like the version where the planet now mirrors the Federation instead of the roaring twenties due to Bones leaving equipment behind by mistake.

Phaser stun is an interesting muddle. How it works is a great mystery of weapons technology. Throw enough energy into an area, and it should start showing significant collateral effects, regardless of its impact on living tissue.

The BS argument makes the most sense for shipboard stun, though I like the thematic if there were enough time to set up for something like that. 'Enough time' would not fit within a SFB scenario without the original series crew, but could fit in an RPG environment on a low tech planet.
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