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Vudar Playtest
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Vudar Commander
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Joined: 22 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:36 am    Post subject: Vudar Playtest Reply with quote

This thread will be for discussion of the prototype Vudar playtest ships and any issues players identify that the Steves might consider addressing.

While any Vudar issue is ok here, the start off issue is that the IPG in FC, as of 22 Jan 09, does not operate in all of its modes. That is, the EW function is missing - the device only operates in counter-drone/shuttle/defsat mode.

Having played the new Vudar ships from the communique, I have found that they do not fly as Vudar ships are intended to fly. With just the Ion Cannon and no approach/escape defensive effect, the Vudar ships to date fly like Feds. They have a two-turn arming heavy weapon, P-1s and good drone defense. What truly made the Vudar unique is missing, IMO.

My suggestion is that we find a simple way to have the IPG act in both modes. Surely we have the brain power here to come up with something 4A4 can handle (or similar) that preserves the key nature of the Vudar.

mjwest, did we want to start with what you came up with?

Jon
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eunderko
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My recollection (which could easily be wrong) is that, in SFB, the Vudar ships weren't negatively affected by the IPG ECM. However, the IPGs also needed to be powered with ION energy (which, beyond the limited amount produced by the ship, could be converted at a cost from warp).

I don't think that differentiating energy types in FC is ever going to happen (nor do I think it should).

Therefore, I wonder if having the IPG generate a +1/+2 to hit, but using an increased energy cost over SFB would be the way to go? 4 energy (1 IPG) for a +1 and 8 energy for a +2 (would require two IPGs)?
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Vudar Commander
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that we want to stay away from energy flavors mattering in FC.

Vudar ships are negatively affected by Jamming Mode IPGs - the die roll modifier is "against or from" the generating ship.

There is already a rule in SFB for using an IPG without using the full SFB EW rules. It is Jamming Mode from the IPG that makes Vudar ships different from Fed and Hyrdan ships.

I submit this:

- add one to the direct fire die for each point of power used to a maximum of three (same ratio as SFB IPG without full EW rule use)
- affects direct fire die rolls against and from generating ship (same)
- lasts one impulse (four sub-pulses being the equivalent of the four SFB impulses jamming mode lasts in SFB)

I am not sure what is to be done about the Jamming Mode effect on seeking weapons, but as we want to keep FC simple and as the IPG already has its DIW mode, probably not in need of exploring.

J
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think the IPG gives a full shift for each point of power; it merely gives points of ECM. (I won't get a chance to fully read the SFB Vudar rules until the weekend.) So, the way I would work it is to require the use of all three points of power to get the +1 shift. That is more restrictive than in SFB, but simplifies things and keeps the power requirements high (to compensate for the lack of ion-specific power).

Other than that, I think we agree (though I will have to double-check this weekend).
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Vudar Commander
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From SFB G36.32 Jamming Mode:

"If not using the EW rules (D6.3), this procedure adds one to all direct fire rolls against or from the generating ship for each point of power used, to a maximum of three.."

Note that each SFB point of IPG power produces three points of SFB ECM (3, 6, 9 = +1, +2, +3 to the die roll...)

Now, playtesting in FC may show that to be too much, but it did not in SFB and I have not seen where any relationship has changed to where that would not be the correct ratio here as well.

I very much don't think it should be +1 for 3 energy, when it is normally 1:1 and squadron scale ships have similar power curves to SFB.

I'll work up the full text of a rule after a couple games this weekend with it and we can see what the Steves say when they get done with the warehouse.

Cool?

Jon
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Huh. Well, that is what I get for not being able to look at the rule. I didn't remembering the IPG being that effective.

The other big thing is to determine if it the effect is for *this* impulse or for *next* impulse. I gotta look at the timing in SFB.

Basically, give me a chance to go and read the SFB rule, and I can give you a decent first pass of an FC version of the rule.

(This is all assuming that Steve would want to do that.)
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Vudar Commander
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair enough - I will hold off for your version.

Oh, I think Steve will at least listen...lol

J
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, he always listens. The only question is whether that is a direction he wants to go.

BTW, that is a very nice Vudar avatar. Smile
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Vudar Commander
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. I admit to being the beneficiary of some useful inside information...lol
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, if the EW effect of the IPG is to be simulated, I think this will serve as a good starting point ...

- Each point of power produces a shift of +1 under the (4A4) modifiers, up to a maximum of +3. The modifier is cumulative with other modifiers.*
- This modifier applies to both the ship with the IPG, and to anyone firing on the ship.
- The IPG is triggered at the end of the Defensive Fire Step and only lasts for that impulse.**
- If two ships are docked, only the larger may use its IPG(s). "Larger" is determined by movement rate. If the two docked ships are the same size, neither may use their IPG(s).

* Note that (4A4) modifiers are capped at +3. This means that if used at the maximum, the IPG effect will make other modifiers irrelevant for that impulse.
** The IPG effect only occurs as the end of the impulse before fire. It affects direct fire on the impulse of activation.

I want to stress that Steve has not said anything about actually doing this. Steve has, in fact, indicated that he is hesitant to do this because this function was excluded from the initial playtest rules. However, I do think it is worth investigating because I agree that without this the IPG has little practical effect.

So, no promises here. But give it a shot and see if it helps.
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Vudar Commander
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks!

Exactly the version I would suggest. Also pretty much exactly how it is in the main game - the effect of all such EW is capped at +3, so you can't get a +5 from full IPG and EM, but you can do +1 from IPG and EM together, for example. Ditto stealth, etc.

I am not sure why yet that he didn't put it in the intial draft of the playtest rules. I am going to ask him and will let you know what he says - if you don't find out first.

I played several games this weekend with Vudar, both with and without this effect. I am biased, of course, but the results were the same - with the IPG jamming mode, the ships fly like Vudar are meant to fly. Without it, they are weaker Feds - and if the ships get no IPG jamming mode, their value should be reduced.

Thanks for your help, will continue to play with this version and would ask others playtesting Vudar to do so also.

Jon
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vudar Commander wrote:
I am not sure why yet that he didn't put it in the intial draft of the playtest rules. I am going to ask him and will let you know what he says - if you don't find out first.

Please don't ask Steve, or even send him any email, until after Feb 1.

ADB is in the midst of moving their offices, and are very much preoccupied with that. And after that, they are going to have to catch up on other very immediate matters.

So, on this particular issue, you might even want to hold off asking about it until even later than Feb 1. Valentines Day might be a better marker.

[Please don't take this the wrong way. Asking is good. But, because of unique circumstances, asking right this moment isn't. Just sit tight for a couple of weeks and then give it a go.]
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Vudar Commander
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am sorry, I don't know you and you don't know me and I have been rude. My name is Jon. Steve Cole is one of my oldest and dearest friends. Yes I know he is busy, but I also do not need permission to write him...lol - we talk all the time.

I know you are doing your job as the FC rules guy - and you are doing it well. Just know that if I write him its not because you did or did not do the right thing trying to keep me from "bothering him".

And thanks for the great work you are doing.

J
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh! In that case, bug him all you want! Very Happy

And, when you get the answer, please let us know what it is ...

(For the record, it wasn't a "permission" or "bothering" thing. It was more from the point of view that if Joe-fan sends him an email right now, it may never get answered.)

And, BTW, next time, please feel free to tell me to shut up because I am talking with Jon-I-invented-the-Vudar, rather than just Jon-I-really-like-the-Vudar. Wink
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Vudar Commander
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not like that. I *am* Joe-fan - I resigned from the staff years ago and its not my place to mess with those who are working hard for ADB directly. The Vudar are not "mine", they belong to the players.

I do admit to a vested interest in seeing them in the game, and seeing them perform as I think they should Smile But one would be right to suspect my objectivity and an objective decision should be made about the IPG's jamming mode. I am just raising the issue as I have flown the Vudar as much as anyone and feel they don't yet fly "right" in FC. I could be wrong about that.

I am a little concerned about the timeline for W+P and the warehouse move. Just don't want to see that override giving the V a full playtest.

Mike, is it? Pleased to meet you.

J
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