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Variable sensor strengths for a scenerio

 
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eblack
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 29 May 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:33 pm    Post subject: Variable sensor strengths for a scenerio Reply with quote

I'm messing around with a scenerio that I'm trying to create. I'm trying to find some SFB rules on sensor strengths to port over to FedCom for this scenerio. Unfortuantely I'm having a tough time finding my rulebooks (I think they are packed up in a box somewhere).

Here's the setup of the scenerio... if anyone is willing to give me a yay/nay or let me know if there is a SFB rule which might be what I'm looking for, I'd appreciate it.


A convoy of Fed ships (say CA's for now) are heavily damaged and trying to make it back to Fed space. The captains agree to keep their active sensor sweeps powered down to prevent the Klingons from finding them. Unfortunately for them, a lone Klingon D7 has spotted them and decided to close in.

If I limited the CA's sensor range to, say, 3 or 5 hexes until they are either fired upon or the D7 closes to within that range... would that be terrible broken for a scenerio specific rule? I've read in Briefing #1 that you should avoid make rule changes to balance things out because limited options for players is frustrating.

The purporse for this scenerio is trying to recreate some of the events surrounding the Seawolf and the Kongo from WWII.

Thanks for any help.[/i]
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Kahuna
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm certainly not the expert here, but it sounds like plausible fun to me. Actually, sounds like something I might like to do with my own group. I don't have my rulebooks with me either, but if my memory serves me right there are rules for powering you sensors from passive to active that should serve you well.
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eblack
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm hoping to play around with balancing the forces tonight. If it all comes together, I'll post up the full scenerio at some point.
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Dan Ibekwe
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if I've understood the scenario correctly, but if it's just a matter of the D7 making an undetected approach, would it not be simpler to allow the Klingon player to place his ship at his desired range from the convoy on turn 1? Assuming he'd reached that position undetected.

Or perhaps use a cloaked KR.
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eblack
Lieutenant JG


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan Ibekwe wrote:
I don't know if I've understood the scenario correctly, but if it's just a matter of the D7 making an undetected approach, would it not be simpler to allow the Klingon player to place his ship at his desired range from the convoy on turn 1? Assuming he'd reached that position undetected.

Or perhaps use a cloaked KR.


It's more of trying to recreate a WWII scenerio and this is not the complete scenerio, just a rule I am messing around with.

The reason I chose what I did was because: 1) cloaking rules don't really mimic submarines 2) Klingons use drones which are more like torpedoes of WWII rather than Romulans/Plasma and 3) sensors in FC are generally a million times better than what the WWII folks had to go through with radar and sonar.

So to try to simulate both a submarine and the radar/sonar limitations I included the limited sensor rule.
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eblack
Lieutenant JG


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are the rules of the scenerio... they are probably a bit convoluted at the moment, but for a draft, I think they work. My friend and I went over the scenerio and we think it may be a lot of fun for people. Let me know what you guys think:

Background

During the General War, a number of ships had to be moved off the front lines and sent to starbases for repairs. At one point, four cruisers were pulled and sent to Starbase XYZ. Being short on escorts, the ships captains agreed to limit their active scanners and make a run for the Federation lines. A klingon captain was on the edge of his patrol when his tactical officer notices a string of four blips making haste from the front lines towards Federation space. Thinking he came across a lightly escorted supply convoy, the captain gave orders to chase. He, too, chose to lower his active scanners to better surprise his enemies. Much to his surprise he came across four heavily damaged cruisers ripe to be taken down. Even better yet, the enemy didn’t seem to react to his presence and he took his chance for glory.

Setup:

Standard 3x2 hex board. Four federation heavy cruisers in the lower right hand corner in a line, facing F, the back-most touching the last hex. Klingon D7 sets up after the Federation ships, anywhere greater than 15 hexes away, facing any direction. This map is a location map and does not float. Any ship moving off the board in a direction not listed below is destroyed by opposing faction ships.

Victory conditions:

The Federation ships must get off of the board, through the five hexes to the F-most direction before they are destroyed or found by enemy reinforcements.

The Klingon ship must destroy at least one Federation ship and move off the board through the five hexes in the B-most direction.

Klingon reinforcements arrive in 6 turns unless the Federation ships turn on their active sensors (see below).

Federation Special Rules:

Pre-combat damage: The four heavy cruisers have taken severe damage prior to this engagement. 25%, 50%, 50% and 75% of damage. The ship with 75% damage should be left with 16 power boxes so it may move speed 16 at start.

Movement: The ships must remain within two hexes of another allied ship and move at a base speed of 16. Acceleration is not allowed until the enemy’s presence is changed from hidden to any other status.. Base speed may not be changed unless it is forced to (i.e. loss of warp power) or the enemy ship is detected the turn before. If any ship is out of range of an allied ship prior to the enemy being revealed it must make an appropriate manuever to fix its state (either by acceleration or deceleration or by turn or slip). Once the Klingon ship has it’s status changed from hidden to any other status, all of these restrictions are removed for the rest of the game.

Limited sensors: Due to attempts to maintain silence while moving through enemy territory, all active sensors begin offline. The Federation ships can only see enemy ships from a distance of 5 hexes away. If the enemy reveals itself (either by coming to within 5 hexes or being counter-scanned), the federation ships may track the enemy ship outside of 5 hexes but the enemy is considered under cloaking rules for purposes of resolving fire and firing seeking weapons. If the Federation ships choose to turn sensors on full active, they may do so, but Klingon reinforcements will arrive in three complete turns and destroy them (end of the third turn after activation).

Counter-scanning: When a ship is scanned it may attempt to counter-scan. Roll 2d6. If the result is greater than the distance between the two ships, the result is a success. Any other result is a failure. On a success, the klingon ship is considered revealed (and no longer considered “cloaked”) until the end of the turn. At the beginning of the following turn, prior to Impulse #1, the ship is considered “cloaked” unless it is revealed for some other reason (being within 5 hexes).

Klingon Special Rules:

Terms for purposes of this scenerio: Hidden: The ship cannot be fired upon, tractored, transported to or otherwise interacted. Cloaked: The ship’s location is known but is considered under cloaking rules for purposes of being fired upon or seeking weapons. Revealed: The ship’s lcoation is known and there are no restrictions on firing on it.

Reduced sensors: To prevent being seen, most sensors have been placed on limited functions. The Klingon must scan the Federation ships in order to know current power pool, damage, etc. The Klingon announces that he will be scanning a ship during the Other functions phase of an impulse. He chooses one ship only and rolls 2d6. If the result is greater than the number of hexes the two ships are apart, the result is a success. Any other result is a failure.

Seeking weapons: Seeking weapons fired from the Klingon ship will track their target normally. If the Klingon ship fired while it is considered hidden, only the target ship may attempt to identify that it is being targetted by drones. The target ship automatically rolls once per hex containing drones per impulse at the end of the Other Options phase. Rolling 2d6, if the total is greater than the distance between the drone(s) and the ship, the ship knows about the drone(s) and can relay that information to all other ships. In addition, once drones have been identified, the klingon’s ship is considered “cloaked” if it was considered hidden previously.

“Cloaked”: When the Klingon ship is considered cloaked, it is really not cloaked, it’s just hidden from most of the enemy’s sensors. The Klingon ship does not pay for this cloak nor does it suffer any penalty from being considered so (it may move speed 24, fire, use evasive manuevers). Any time the ship’s status has been changed to “cloaked” it remains that way for a minimum of 3 impulses. It returns to hidden prior to the 4th impulse if: it is more than 5 hexes away from any opponent, does not have any drones on the board which have been detected (drones impacted or held by tractors do not count), and has not fired any weapons on the previous impulse.

Revealed: There are two ways for the klingon ship to be revealed: being within 5 hexes of an enemy ship or through being counter-scanned. The ship cannot return to being considered cloaked until the following: at least 4 impulses since it was revealed, it is more than 5 hexes from any enemy, has not fired or launched any weapons during the passed 2 impulses.


Last edited by eblack on Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Dan Ibekwe
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting idea.

Another set of (non-ADB) starship combat rules once described itself as 'Hide and Seek with bazookas'. The rules in question didn't really work, but I did like the concept.

It would not appeal to everybody, but I might run up a set of 'system level' maneuver and detection rules. Solar systems get taken a bit for granted in Star Trek & it's offspring, but a starship orbiting Earth may not be a lot of use defending against a hit-and-run attack against Mars, and there's an awful lot of Kuyper belt to hide in.
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eblack
Lieutenant JG


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being a Romulan player, I very much enjoy the idea of hide and seek. SFB has it to a certain extent but for the most part, everyone can find you. Fed Commander it's even more non-existant.

TOS had a number of episodes where it was difficult to track or find enemies or beings which didn't want to be found. It's that sort of danger that I want to include into FedCom.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, one way to do a hidden movement type of cloak would be to use the published mapboards or at least a hexmap with the hexes numbered. The cloaked ship would physically be removed from the map and its movement/facing tracked secretly. It would only be fair, though, to allow any firing ship to name a hex as its target and give full damage (or perhaps 75%) to the cloaked ship if the attacker guesses correctly.

There are other things that could be done:

INVISIBLE CLOAKS

1. The cloaked ship player would have to alert other ships when he is within 8 or 10 hexes (motion sensors picking up his movement, but no exact location).

2. If a weapon of the attacker is fired at the hex containing the cloaked ship, it scores its damage and the cloaked ship player has to reveal the hex his ship is in.

3. If the cloak is played this way, the cloaked ship cannot use shields. Its one or the other: cloak OR shields, but not both.

4. Have some kind of special proximity setting for all direct fire weapons (including carronades). Perhaps half damage and/or add a column to the range. Proximity could only be used against invisible cloaked ships, though.

Just some ideas to throw out for consideration. They would slow things down, which is definitely against the basic principle of FedComm.
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Wolverin61
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Carronades are supposed to be good for that very thing.
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Dan Ibekwe
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I realise this does not really fit with the 'keep it simple' approach of FC, but I'll post these here to allow others to improve, deride or ignore.

This is longer than I intended, and requires some editing. It's a bit draconian, it assumes the players set the speed and heading of their ships at the start of the game, but then can only change that in response to sensor contacts - if you haven't detected a target, you can only carry straight on, or continue to sit still, or follow a pre-written flight path.

It is based broadly on submarine passive sonar operations; the faster a ship goes, the more restricted her own 'field of view' is due to the noise of her engines, and the easier she is to detect. However, long-range detection tends to be hit and miss against fleeting contacts, and you then have to determine what you have actually detected (classification).

The basic scenario would be an attempt to slip through a blockade.


Alt.Sensor draft rules.

In the standard game, ships are assumed to be using powerful active sensors. At combat ranges, these will reveal non-cloaked targets and provide useable firing solutions, and their emissions are impossible to hide.

Circumstances may arise where both sides are operating without using active sensors, in a condition wet navies refer to as 'EMCON' (Electro-Magnetic CONtainment). These rules reflect this situation.


1) Detection.

Each searching ship has two arcs - Primary and Secondary. In the Primary arc her sensors work at full effect, in the Secondary arc they are severely degraded by the electronic 'noise' produced by her engines.

At base speed 0, the Primary arc is an unobstructed 360 degrees.
At base speed 8, the Primary arc is the ship's FX arc.
At base speed 16, the Primary arc is the ship's FA arc.
At base speed 24, the Primary arc is the hex row extending directly ahead.

Datum range - this is given by the strength of the sensors, plus how much 'noise' is being generated by the target.

Sensor strength - Primary arc - 8 hexes. Secondary arc - 0 hexes.

Target signature - Target's base speed, times her movement cost, in hexes.

Example - A Federation frigate is at base speed zero, lying in wait for a Klingon D7 and an F5. The Klingon ships are moving at base speed 16.
The Frigate's Primary arc is 360, so regardless of the direction, her sensors give her +8 hexes. The Datum range to the D7 will be (8+[16x1]) = 24 hexes, to the Frigate (8+[16x0.5]) = 16 hexes.

If the Klingon ships try to reverse-detect the Frigate, their Datum range (in their Primary arcs) will be (8+[0x0.25]) = 8 hexes.


Detection chance (Roll on 1d6)

Less than one quarter Datum - 1-6
one quarter to one half Datum - 1-3
over one half to Datum - 1

Add 1 to the score required if the target was detected in the previous turn.
Add 1 to the score required if more than one searching ship is within Datum range.

Only roll to detect each target ship once per impulse during the Speed Change step, based on the highest applicable score. Once a ship has been detected it counts as being detected by all ships on the searching side.

Fighters and shuttles count every arc as Secondary at all speeds and have a Datum range of 8 at all times.

Civilian ships - freighters, Free Traders, APTs, FedXs, Naval Auxilliaries double their Datum Ranges (noisier engines).

Orion Stealth ships - reduce the score needed to detect them by '1'.

Drones have an assumed movement cost of 0.25 (therefore at speed 16 will always have a Datum range of 12 in Primary arcs, and 4 in Secondary), Plasmas of 1.0 (at speed 32, 40 and 32 respectively).

Cloaked ships halve all Datum ranges and deduct '1' from the score needed to detect them. Their own passive sensors are unaffected (but they are still under normal cloak restrictions, no firing, base speed 16 maximum, etc.

Scouts - double all Datum ranges.

Bases - Major military installations such as Battlestations or Starbases do not ever run passive. Smaller civilian or Orion bases may try it as a desperation move. Base speed (apologies for the pun) is always zero, so move cost is irrelevant.


2) Classification

Unlike active sensors, passive detection does not immediately provide much information about the identity or range of the target.
Classification attempts may occur in any impulse when the target has been detected for a second or subsequent consecutive time. Roll once per target - a '1' indicates a success. Place one Tracking counter on the target.
Two counters mean that a firing solution has been obtained, and seeking weapons may now be launched at that target by any unit on the opposing side. Remove any counters on a ship which changes course; seeking weapons in flight will continue to home in.

Broadband detection - at the searching player's choice, all of the target signatures of hostile ships in one of the searcher's shield arcs may be combined to give one larger Datum range. If this is detected, it *may* be used to alter speed and heading, but it may *not* be used to generate classification attempts. This is equivalent to WW2 submarines detecting wide 'sound bands' from distant convoys, and is also useful if under seeking weapon attack.

Going Active - If you have detected any enemy unit twice in consecutive impulses, any or all of your units may go active at the start of the Defensive Fire phase of any impulse. The enemy will automatically detect any unit that goes active, and, if they have detected you in the previous impulse, may immediately go Active under the 'Me Too' principle. Ships with Active sensors act normally within the FC rules, and have all normal information about anything on the map.

3) Movement.

Ships are only allowed to change their course or speed in an impulse when they have a target they have detected for at least two consecutive impulses.
Ships can only change their base speeds following a turn in which they detected a target.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, if you are trying to work from SFB, keep in mind a couple things:

1) If using passive sensors (i.e. you are broadcasting *nothing* except your warp signature), you can see any warp-powered unit on the map. I don't remember the exact range (50 hexes?), but you are pretty much guaranteed to see everything on the map.

2) The only way to not be seen by a unit on the map is to have prepared for a long time and lie in wait. So, to be invisible to other units on the map, your ship must have entered the map a long, long time before any enemies, and prepared yourself for that long wait. (By "long wait" I mean "more than a day".)

So, if you have a group of ships using only passive sensors, but still traveling at warp speed, that is detected and pursued by a ship using active sensors and also traveling at warp speed, they are going to see each other at map setup. The ships with passive sensors may not know *what* they are facing, but they will at least know combined movement rate and number of blips.

Passive Sensors in SFB are still pretty powerful.
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Dan Ibekwe
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike, this isn't really related tho the SFB passive sensors rule, fine though it is.

That's really a lot more permissive than I had in mind.

As I said, the rule I posted doesn't fit well with the simplicity of FC but might b of interest in some specific scenarios.
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Starmada, which uses plotted movement, actually removes the cloaked ship from the map, and each turn there is a roll for each ship to detect the cloaked ship. I haven't played using those rules, but it looks like it will really feel more like anti-submarine warfare than the SFB/FC rules.
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