Federation Commander Forum Index Federation Commander
A NEW fast paced board game of starship combat!
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

RPG and Ship combat

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Federation Commander Forum Index -> Prime Directive
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Sgt_G
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 264
Location: Offutt AFB, Nebraska

PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:53 pm    Post subject: RPG and Ship combat Reply with quote

I'm moving postings from another thread (Other Amarillo Design Bureau Products >> Task Force Commander, a new concept) to spin it off as a separate thread.

My thoughts were: I want to create a ship-to-ship combat game that doesn't entail all the time-consuming details of SFB / FedCmdr, and still be more detailed that A Call To Arms. I also wanted to incorporate the RPG player-characters into the action, at least as far as the dangers they face being on a ship engaged in mortal combat.

In the games SFB / FedCmdr / etc., the scenario is usually played to the death. This system, being adapted to RPG, I figure players would want to pull out of combat before it gets too far. Otherwise, it would be the end of the campaign. Still, I came up with a combat system that makes the ships more durable, but also more likely to take damage. It wouldn't be like SFB where you can't hurt a ship until you knock down the shields.

I took some ideas from different game systems, but added in some of my own. I like the simplistic movement from ACTA but not the sequence of play. That game works best for fleet actions, not what I was looking for. I like the multiple impulse systems from SFB / FedCmdr, but they can bog down too much.

This system would use the SSD from either SFB or FedCmdr, but also suggest having deck plans for the player-characters' ship. I came up with a damage allocation system that I think would be fast for play, although it does require some pre-game prep work because it's based on a deck of cards tailored specifically to each ship.

The system is intended to simplify energy allocation. You're not counting out every single point of power. The only things you're paying power for are movement and charging weapons. And maybe shield reinforcements. Everything else is "free".

As I said, these are "rough ideas" and will need to be expanded before it's a complete game system. Let me get the basic ideas posted, then you all can feel free to jump in.
_________________
Garth L. Getgen


Last edited by Sgt_G on Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:04 pm; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sgt_G
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 264
Location: Offutt AFB, Nebraska

PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, the first thing I wanted to do was account for power usage, but I didn't want to get bogged down in counting every point of energy to be allocated. So, the two main things that use power are weapons and movement. We'll just ignore all the other stuff: life support, raising shields, fire control, sensors / scanners, and transporters. We'll assume the ship has enough power to handle these.

To avoid counting every single point of power, you just need to track how many phasers and how many heavy weapons the ship starts with, and then you note whether you're going to power up half or less of these or more than half. The ship's movement will be reduced based on those options, and for loss of warp/impulse drive engines due to combat damage.

There will be four impulse per turn, with sub-steps for weapons fire and movement. Most ships will be assumed to have a base movement of 24" for the turn, so 6" per impulse. The maximum speed for any ship is 32"/turn or 8"/impulse. Fast Ships would have a base movement of 28"/turn or 7"/impulse. Freighters and other slow ships would likewise have a different base movement rate. (If you wish to use a hex-grid instead of free-form movement, one inch become one hex.)

Start of Turn phase:
Check for engine damage. A ship with only impulse drive left can move one inch per movement phase. Otherwise: count the number of warp boxes a ship starts with a divide by three (round down). Make note of this number, and also double it (i.e., two-thirds of starting boxes). If the total number of warp + impulse drops below the 2/3 number, base speed is reduced by 2" (max of 4" for most ships). If the number of warp + impulse drops below the 1/3 number, speed is reduced another 2" per movement phase.

Determine how many weapons you wish to charge up. Most ships have a base movement of six inches per movement phase. However, this is reduced based on power allocate to weapons:
-- If charging up to one-half of all phasers, no decrease.
-- If charging more than one-half of phasers, reduce by 1". (Ignore this if the ship as two or fewer Phasers.)
-- If holding charge for up to one-half of heavy weapons charged last turn, no decrease.
-- If holding charge for more than one-half of heavy weapons charged last turn, reduce by 1". (Ignore this if the ship only has one or two heavy weapons.)
-- If charging up to one-half of heavy weapons, reduce by 1".
-- If charging more that one-half of heavy weapons, reduce by 2". (Ignore this is a ship only has one or two heavy weapons -- its speed is reduced by 1")
-- If charging overloads to up to one-half of heavy weapons, reduce by 1". Heavy weapons charged on a previous turn and held may be overloaded this turn.
-- If charging overloads to more than one-half of heavy weapons, reduce by 2". (Ignore this is a ship only has one or two heavy weapons -- its speed is reduced by 1")

A ship that does not charge any phasers and does not charge or hold any heavy weapons may move plus two inches per impulse (max of eight inches). It may fire phasers that were charged in a previous turn, but would have no heavy weapons ready to fire. This option would be used prior to a ship "warping out" of the combat zone.


Player-characters will note their location on the ship and intended actions for the turn.

Assign damage control teams as needed. Player-characters may aid in damage control, given their skills list and the GM's permission.


Each Impulse:
Roll two dice (2d6) for each ship. This will determine the movement order for the turn. Optional: some ships may get a bonus to this roll. Roll a second time to break ties. NOTE: I had this as a roll for the entire turn, but it might be better to do per impulse. I could go either way on this one.

When a ship come up in order or rotation, based on the dice roll, it takes the following actions.

1) First firing option: the ship may fire phasers at any enemy drone, plasma, or shuttle / fighter in range and in arc, and may fire phasers at any enemy ship within three inches. The ship may fire ADD at drones. The ship may launch drones, plasma, or shuttle/fighters.

2) The ship may move up to its limit. A ship need not move its entire max movement per impulse, but must move at least one inch unless declaring "All Stop".

A ship at "all stop" will not move this impulse nor for the next impulse (even into next turn). It may pivot up to 60 degrees per impulse in place. After two or more impulses of no movement, it may begin to move again at one-half its adjusted movement for the first impulse of movement, and then normally thereafter.

Turn-modes would be measured with a radius curve. A ship in FedCmdr with turn mode "A" would have a radius of 2" at speed 6". Turn mode "B" would have a radius of 3", and "C" would have 4" radius, etc. etc. Reduce the radius by one inch if the ship is moving (for any reason) 4" or less in the movement phase, and by two inches if moving 2" or less, but in no case may a ship's radius be less than 1". Add one inch if the ship is moving more than 6". A ship may select a wider turning radius, if so desired for tactical reasons. If a ship finishes it move straight for the last 2" of its movement, it may "wiggle" up to 10 degrees left or right (e.g., to set up a center-line fire on a target).

A ship may attempt a high energy turn (HET) at a cost of 2" inches of movement either the current or next movement phase. Failure results in the ship moving its full adjusted movement allowance in a straight path, and then coming to a full stop. A ship at zero movement (all stop) may make a HET, but may not move (may pivot) the next impulse. Failure results in the ship pointing in a random direction and may not pivot in the next impulse, nor move for two impulses.

3) Second fire option: same as first firing option. Needless to say, any given weapon may only fire once per turn (unless specified, such as Phaser-G).

4) After all ships have moved, all drones and plasmas move (exception below). Any drone targeting other drones move first; otherwise movement order does not really matter.

If, during a ship's movement, it passes within one inch in in FH arc of a seeker targeting that ship, the seeker will close and make impact on the target.

Plasma torps move eight inches; drones move 4, 6, or 8 inches, depending on the era. These seeker weapons will move directly towards the target. If the target has moved out of the FH arc, the seeker will make a 90-deg turn, move one inch, and the turn again to face the target, and move the rest of its allowance.

If the seeker reaches its target, it makes impact. The target (ONLY) may make a last-defense firing with phasers (and ADD for drones). If the seeker survives, it explodes, and damage is determined immediately.


5) After all ships have moved, the main weapons fire option step. Going in the same order as movement, each ship may fire heavy weapons and phasers at any enemy ship within range & arc. It may also fire at drones / plasma / etc. It may launch drones, plasmas, and shuttles / fighters. It may also use transporters and tractors in in this step.

Player-characters and NPCs can take action during this step, as allowed by the game master. A player-character may move from on part of the ship to another. It will take anywhere from one impulse to the end of the following turn to get there (GM will decide, based on the deck plans).

6) Damage from all three firing phases is resolved after ALL ships have fired, not after each ship fires. This means "destroyed" weapons and even "destroyed ships" still get to fire. As written right now, the exception is damage caused by drone / plasma torpedo, which is resolved at the point of impact. This might be changed to be resolved with all other damage.

After all steps in an impulse have been completed, rinse and repeat three more times.

Complete end of turn phase, then start the next turn.
_________________
Garth L. Getgen
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sgt_G
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 264
Location: Offutt AFB, Nebraska

PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For weapons fire: use the to-hit and damage charts from SFB / FedCmdr. However, the damage done is resolved slightly differently.

For Phasers, there is a 50-50 chance that a hit will bypass the shields. For each point of damage, roll one dice. If the result is even (2/4/6), take the hit on the shield; if the result is odd (1/3/5), the hit bypasses the shield.

For heavy weapons (photon, disruptor), all of the damage hits the shield, but may also cause "shake damage" to the ship. For each point of damage upon a shield, roll one dice. For each result of a "1" or "2", the ship takes a point of internal damage. Drones, plasma, and T-bombs (if allowed) cause "shake damage" only on a "1". There cannot be more than 50% added "shake damage" above the damage applied to the shields.

For ESG impact, there is no dice roll for "shake damage"; rather, the ESG automatically does 50% "shake damage" above that applied to the shields.


Shield damage would automatically self-repair at the start of the next turn. A ship gains back 12 shields boxes per turn, to be applied how the ship's captain wants, but any given shield cannot gain back more than 1/4 its starting count per turn.
_________________
Garth L. Getgen
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sgt_G
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 264
Location: Offutt AFB, Nebraska

PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, for damage allocation, I want to use a deck of cards. As these would be tailored to each ship, there is some pre-game prep work involved. The cards have to be created (by hand on 3x5 cards cut in halve would work, or printed out on heavy bond paper and cut out by hand), and then the deck has to be built at the start of the scenario. If the RPG campaign is centered around one particular ship, keep the cards for that ship for the next time the go into combat.

To create the deck of cards, take the SSD for each ship and make two cards for each numbered / lettered weapons. Two each Phaser #1, Phaser #2, ... Phaser #8 etc, two each Photon A, B, C, & D etc.

Make two cards for each Tractor, Transporter, and each shuttlecraft / fighter. Make one card for each HULL, Bridge/AuxCon/Emer, Lab. and cargo. All of these systems will be numbered if more than one such on the ship. (Knowing which Hull / cargo was hit may be important to the player-characters after the battle.)

Make one card for each Warp, Impulse, APR (Reactor), battery, and FRAME / Excess Damage. These don't need to be numbered.

Additionally, make one card for each of the following systems not shown on the SSD: Armory, Brig, Chow Hall, Rec Room, Sick Bay (x2), Food Pantry, Galley, Water supply (x2), Air Supply (x3), Water Recycling, HVAC (x2), Turbo-Lift (x2) Admin Office, Engineering (x2), Sensor (x2) and Scanner (x2). These are what I can think of off the top of my head, but the list might be expanded. Also, one card for each spare Shuttlecraft, one Drone Reload per drone rack, and one T-Bomb card per T-Bomb (optional). Make eight numbered cards for "HULL BREACH" and nine for "FIRE" (as in flames); there is one for each shield-facing, plus #7 = dorsal (top), #8 = ventral (bottom), and #9 = ship's core.

Make one card per player-character and major NPC labeled "PC #x INJURED". Make a card labeled "CHARACTER CRITICAL INJURED"; make two if there are more than ten PC/NCP in the party. For every sixty crew (round UP), make a card labeled "CREW INJURED". These cards will indicate the PC / crew have been thrown about and got hurt.

Shuffle the Injury cards and randomly select (without looking) a number of cards equal to the FRAME / Excess Damage boxes on the SSD. Add these to the stack of SSD-system cards. Take the rest of these and shuffle them into the non-SSD cards, then randomly select a number of cards equal to the total number of HULL boxes plus one-half the total of Bridge/AuxCon/Emer & Lab. Add these to the stack of SSD-system cards. Set the excess Injury and non-SSD cards aside as they will not be used this scenario. Remove one FRAME / Excess Damage card, then shuffle the deck. Cut the deck into three reasonably equal parts, put the FRAME / Excess Damage card in one of these part. Shuffle that part and place in face down, then place the other two parts on top. (This step is to ensure you don't get all FRAME / Excess Damage hits too early in the combat.)


When a ship take internal damage, simply turn over one card per damage point. As noted, there are two cards for each weapon. On the first hit, that weapon "dumps" its power and may not fire this turn nor next turn. If crews are not assigned to repair it, it remains knocked out. Upon the second card, the weapon is destroyed or at least damaged to the point of being un-repairable in the short term. Likewise for Transporters and Tractors. A shuttlecraft card means the shuttle take 2d6 points of damage.

The player-character incurred card means the character fell down / was thrown against the bulkhead. Take damage appropriate to the RPG game-system in use. This damage should not exceed 50% of the character base damage; someone with 10 Hit-Points should not take more than five points of damage. (If the character was already hurt, said character could still die!) The CRITICAL INJURY card means that a random PC/NCP take double-damage, thus will probably take more than 50% hit-points and could very well lead to death. The CREW INJURED card means that 2d6 number of the crew have been hurt, and one-third of these may be serious injuries and perhaps death.

Enemy ships without player-characters will still have PC INJURED cards. These represent the non-player-characters officers running that ship: captain, first officer, engineer, helm/navigation, weapons officer, doctor, and head of security.

Cards such as Armory and Mess Hall are "padding", but also may be a factor for the crew after the battle. A BRIG hit could mean prisoners have been hurt/killed or perhaps escaped. Before the game, PC will note which Hull number their quarters are in (the GM may assign this, based on the deck plans). If that hull box was hit, their belongings may have been damaged / destroyed.

The HULL BREACH and FIRE cards means that part of the ship has lost air or is in flames. Note that a hull breach will stop a fire in the same area; otherwise, crew must be assigned to fight the fire or it may spread. Each turn a fire remains uncontrolled, the ship will take one point of internal damage.
_________________
Garth L. Getgen


Last edited by Sgt_G on Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sgt_G
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 264
Location: Offutt AFB, Nebraska

PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As to player-character actions, players will declare their location and actions to the GM. What they can do depends on their skills list, and what the GM allows.

Example, if a player has the skill, he may be manning one Phaser (or pair of phasers, if the GM allows). He can, before firing, decide whether to give a bonus to the to-hit chart, or to improve shield bypass. For the later, reroll (once) any even-number dice that would normally hit the shield. (I say "he", but obviously it could be a "she".)

A PC manning the helm might be able to shave off 1/2" of turn radius, if they have a high enough skill. An engineer might be able to coax more power out of the engines, giving back a bit of movement while arming weapons.

Player-character might beam over to raid an enemy ship.

As per any RPG campaign, player-character can do pretty much whatever the GM allows them to do.

A player may move from on part of the ship to another. It will take anywhere from one impulse to the end of the following turn to get there (GM will decide, based on the deck plans).

A PC/NPC that is in a SSD system that takes a hit, they may be injured, based on the RPG rules.



So, that's the basic ideas. Feel free to jump in now.
_________________
Garth L. Getgen
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Steve Cole
Site Admin


Joined: 11 Oct 2006
Posts: 3001

PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry I had to do an admin edit there but we're not authorized to use FASA stuff so don't go there.
_________________
The Guy Who Designed Fed Commander
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
lincolnlog
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 18 Jun 2011
Posts: 104
Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roger, sorry about that, didn't know.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mjwest
Commodore


Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 3438
Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, please keep in mind that the Traveller Prime Directive book will include starship combat rules in it. There are starship combat rules in the base Traveller, and we have modified it to work with the SFU. Note that the rules have to adhere to the Traveller foundation, so that put severe constraints on what it can look like.

For the record, it is infinitely less complex that what Garth is describing.
_________________

Federation Commander Answer Guy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Sgt_G
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 264
Location: Offutt AFB, Nebraska

PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike,

I don't have any Traveller books (save for some deck plan books), so I've never seen their combat system. I have no idea how simple or complex their system is.

Like I said at the top of the thread, I wanted to "borrow" ideas from ACTA & FedCmdr, and then try to find a balance between fast/simple play and detailed realism. I could just say "Use FedCmdr rules for everything, but use these card for damage allocation".

Another option would be to use the FedCmdr damage allocation chart, but on every Hull and every Frame hit, roll against another little chart to find out whether it hits Hull/Frame, injures crewmen, a player-character / major NOC gets hurt, or some "minor" system like the Chow Hall gets hit.

The problem with using FedCmdr during RPG sessions is it still gets a little bogged down counting every point of power for every last little thing. The problem with ACTA is it went too far the other direction because that game is better suited for larger fleet battles. The damage allocation would not lead itself well to RPG use.
_________________
Garth L. Getgen
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Bolo_MK_XL
Commander


Joined: 16 Jan 2007
Posts: 778
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whatever happened to the Rules/Set up that was presented at 1991 Origins. Was it incorporated into one of the current rule sets or set aside.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Steve Cole
Site Admin


Joined: 11 Oct 2006
Posts: 3001

PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1991 Origins? I think you mean PD1 and it's available on DTRPG, and I think on e23. Whatever hard copies we have are still on the cart.
_________________
The Guy Who Designed Fed Commander
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Federation Commander Forum Index -> Prime Directive All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group