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House Rule: Mines in FC - Explosion Trigger?
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gar1138
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:59 pm    Post subject: House Rule: Mines in FC - Explosion Trigger? Reply with quote

So I've been thinking about experimenting with explosive mines (only explosive mines) as a house rule in FC. Basically, I would treat them as terrain (that explode), they cannot be placed or swept during a scenario, and no hidden deployment. There are both small (10 point) and large (35 point) mines, with a detection/explosion range of 1 hex (damaging everything within that range if they explode). Basically, a simple FedCom-ish port of the SFB explosive mines.

The only issue I'm running into is the possibility for triggering the explosion. In SFB, you roll a die and if the roll is less than the ship's speed, the mine doesn't explode (rolling equal to or greater than the ship's speed triggers the explosion). This seems awkward to port into FC since movement is handled differently.

A possibility I was thinking of would be if a ship is going speed 0 and moved into range, a die roll of 1-5 causes the explosion (or 1-4, or ???). Basically, just a preset value. Moving speed 8 or greater into range automatically triggers the explosion.

Currently undecided is if drones and/or shuttles could also trigger the explosion (perhaps some could be set only for ships, some only for shuttles/drones, and some for both?).

Any other suggestions or ideas for handling the explosion trigger? Seems like there might be a better or different way to do it, as long as it is simple and in keeping with the spirit of FC.

Thanks,

Garrett
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are correct about the trigger thing being problematic.

Obviously, if the unit is speed 8 (or more) the trigger is automatic. So we can skip that.

For the speed 0 case, the most simple, brutal, direct solution is to simply give a fixed detonation chance. Since you are not going to allow sweeping (well, except for the hard way), I suggest a simple flat 1-3 or 1-2. I don't think any more than that is good, as it no one would bother to try. Any better than that, and they won't hesitate. You need one of those to to make them think about it, but still do it.

If you want to include sweeping, then you might want to do something where you say that moving into the detection radius at speed 0 has a 1-in-6 chance of triggering, but moving within the detection radius at speed 0 has a 1-3 (or 1-4) chance of triggering. That lets the ships get next to the mine (like they should be able to), but prevents them from just rushing through.

Also, you need to decide if a cancelled move counts as movement. I could see it going either way, and it depends on how nasty you want to make mines.

Good luck!
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gar1138
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike, thanks for the ideas.

I like the 1-2 (or possibly 1-3) roll for triggering the explosion. Maybe +1 for a ship using evasive maneuvers?

Yeah, maybe some sort of (highly) simplified sweeping rule would be good. Something to encourage ships to go into the field (more than just "to get through it").

Thanks,

Garrett
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gar1138 wrote:
Maybe +1 for a ship using evasive maneuvers?

I'd go with +2 for EM (if not making it outright automatic).
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Mike
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A suggestion on the mine triggering: base it on how many hexes are moved in the impulse in which the ship is in range of triggering the mine.

Specifics:

1. How to trigger a mine. The chance of triggering a mine to explode is based on how many hexes a ship moves during an impulse in which it passes through the mine's triggering field.

0 hexes moved - roll of 1
1 hex moved - roll of 1-3
2 hexes moved - roll of 1-4
3 hexes moved - roll of 1-5
4 hexes moved - roll of 1-6

2. A 1d6 roll must be made for every triggering field hex that every ship enters during an impulse. This means that if a ship passes through a mine hex, it would have the possibility of rolling three times to determine if it triggered that mine (once for entering the hex adjacent to the mine, once for entering the hex of the mine, and once for entering the hex on the other side of the mine). If a ship starts an impulse in a hex adjacent to a mine and then leaves that hex headed away from the mine, a triggering roll would not be made.

3. Determining which ship triggers a mine. Two possibilities:

a) During an impulse, more than one ship may enter a trigger hex. To determine which ship triggers the mine, roll in the same order as the ships entered the trigger hex(es).
b) Make each trigger roll during the sub-pulse movement procedure as each ship moves into a trigger hex. If the mine explodes, note all ships that will be affected by the explosion and which of their shields it will affect.

4. Damage from mine explosions. Damage points are allocated at the start of the Defensive Fire Phase.

5. Effect of Evasive Maneuvers. A ship using evasive maneuvers adds 2 to the 1d6 roll for its chance to trigger a mine.


Sound too complicated? Well, it IS for BoM. And if it really is too complicated, why not make the mine detection zone only in the hex in which the mine is located? That would make things MUCH easier to figure out and to play.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you make the detection range of a mine to be only its own hex, you make them so impotent that you might as well not bother. Seriously. With a one hex range detection, you can arrange mines in an effective "web" around a fixed object. With a detection range of zero (same hex only) you must have a string of mines directly adjacent to each other. No "web"; it is a literal string.

The base standard of SFB says that if a ship moving base speed 8 (which is, remember, only a single sub-pulse worth of movement) has a 100% chance of triggering a mine. If Mike's trigger rolls are used, then it becomes something totally different in effect and in play than what they are based on in SFB. I would prefer something closer to SFB's effect.

I have already provided some simplistic options. For a more complex option, you need something like this:
- A stopped ship will not trigger a mine.
- A ship with base speed 8 or more will always trigger a mine.
- A ship with base speed 0 that moves into or within the detection range of mine will set it off with a base roll of 1-6 (i.e. 100%). Reduce the roll by one for each impulse prior to the move in which the ship did not move, to a maximum reduction of five. (For example, if a ship did not move for three impulses prior to moving into a mine's detection range, the roll to trigger the mine is 1-3, not 1-6.)
- A "minesweeper" starts with a base roll of 1-4, not 1-6.
- There is always a 1 in 6 chance to trigger the mine.
- A ship using evasive maneuvers will always trigger a mine regardless of its speed (including stopped, as an exception to the first item).

Note that a speed 8 ship which cancelled movement for five impulses prior to moving into a mine's detection range will still automatically trigger the mine. You can't "decelerate down to zero"; you must be at speed zero.

That is as simple as I can get the idea of "roll less than the ship's speed to trigger" with FC's movement system.
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems like a nuisance trying to remember how many hexes you moved during the previous 5 impulses. Personally, I think a flat 50% chance of detonation would be better.

Also, how are you handling the mines' reactions to different targets? If they react to everything, then using a single drone to sweep a mine is pretty easy. Especially if it's protecting a base.

As I see it, the biggest problem with porting the SFB mine rules, even just the T-bomb rules, over to FC is that the T-bomb rules are pretty much as simple as they can be in SFB and still work. I don't see any way to simplify them without nerfing them too much.
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Savedfromwhat
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or how's about just making it reaally simple and ships speed 8 (no accel) will not activate it anything faster and... BOOM! Still has the speed bump effect a base is looking for, but is simpler for FC yes it isn't exacrlty how they work in SFB, but I can go speed 32 in this game, etc. I for one think it would be a good change and GAR, I love what you've got so far.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a question about situations in which multiple ships might be affected by mines.

Suppose you have two ships moving through a trigger hex. One is moving at speed 24 with a hex of acceleration and the other is moving at speed 8 with no acceleration. To keep things simple, suppose both ships start the impulse in a hex adjacent to the trigger hex. Both pass into the trigger hex as their first hex of movement for that impulse. According to MJ West's triggering procedure (based upon SFB), either of the ships would automatically trigger the mine to explode.

The question: Will both ships take damage from the explosion?

The simple answer would appear to be "yes" if it makes no difference which ship set off the trigger and only the act of moving into the trigger hex at any time during the impulse matters.

Consider, though, that the ship moving 24+ is going to be the first ship to set off the trigger because it moves on sub-pulse #1. The other ship doesn't move until sub-pulse #4. It would not be very SFB-ish to make the slower ship take the damage, too.

And what about the order of precedence in movement about ships that move in the same sub-pulse? Will all ships moving into the trigger hex during that sub-pulse receive damage from the mine, or will only the first one to do so?

This reveals one of the biggest problems with mines in the FC movement system. To be more true to their SFB roots, mines would seem to require resolution on a sub-pulse by sub-pulse basis. If they are resolved only at the end of an impulse and affect every ship that entered the blast zone during the impulse, the outcome will be vastly different from SFB and will bring about some pretty non-SFB-ish tactics.

As for a trigger zone being only the hex that a mine is in, I don't see why that is such a problem. Just use more mines. It sure would make determining who sets a mine off a much easier procedure.
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Blammo
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If these are house rules for mines, you can have them work pretty much however you want as long as the "house" is agreeable.

In my situations, I go turn for turn on movement. If a ship started off baseline 0, then look at how many moves it made since the beginning of the turn adjust the detonation probability accordingly.

If a unit is going baseline 8 or higher, detonation is automatic.

EM is a +2 to the die roll for detonation.

If two or more units enter the trigger range on the same subpulse and one of them sets of the mine, both take damage. My reasoning is while there is a order of movement, movement is essentially happening at the same time so both eat the blast. Notice, this is subpulse, not impulse. If the mine gets detonated on subpulse #2 and another unit moves into what would have been a triggering hex on subpulse #4, the mine has already exploded and the second unit suffers no effect from it.

Damage from a mine explosion is applied immediately (not delayed until the defense fire, etc). This also allows the handling of the damage to seeking weapons from mines without confusion the matter by waiting till defensive fire.

HETs do not set off mines (unless followed by a move in the trigger zone)

TACs do not set off a mine.

Stealth ships get their bonus applied to possibly not triggering the mine.

For cloaked ships a 2 bonus is used to reduce the chance of triggering a mine

For sweeping, mines take 4 points of damage to kill and a roll of 1-3. Anything less that the 4 points of damage or a roll greater than 3 triggers the mine

There is always a 1 in 6 chance of setting off the mine unless you are not moving at all in the triggering zone.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blammo wrote:
If these are house rules for mines, you can have them work pretty much however you want as long as the "house" is agreeable.

Just to be clear, I was not making any "rulings" in this thread. I was merely trying to explain the ramifications of certain choices, and to provide options that fit well in the SFU. However, as you point out, a house rule is a house rule, and you can do whatever you want.
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gar1138
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the simplest suggestion the best (and think it is the most FC-ish).

Just large and small explosive mines. Cannot be placed during a scenario and would be listed in the Terrain section (chapter 6 of the rulebook). Detection range is 1 hex. Mines can be set for ships, shuttles/fighters, drones, or any combination (but cannot be changed once the game starts).

Speed 8 or higher = automatic trigger
Speed 0 = trigger on roll of 1-4
Stopped = trigger on roll of 1
Evasive Maneuvers = +2 modifier (effectively making the trigger 100% at speed 0)

No need to remember or track previous impulses of movement. The trigger roll happens at the same point where you would roll for asteroid damage in each sub-pulse. If ESGs hit the mine, they cause it to detonate.

If triggered, damage affects the facing shield of all units within the 1-hex range.

Probably have a simplified sweeping rule (something like having to be in the mine hex, hold it in a tractor beam, and shoot phasers at it).

I'll play around with these and see how they work.

Thanks,

Garrett
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Garrett,

With those rules, there is no point to adding any sweeping rules. No one will sweep. In fact, a ship will only have a 1/3 chance to sweep even if they try.

Instead, this will force the attacker to bring in a suicide ship, plow a hole through the minefield, and let the rest of the ships pour through.

I am not saying this is a good or bad thing. I am just saying this is how those rules will force attacks to be made. And that you needn't bother to write minesweeping rules.
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gar1138
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hummm, good point about sending in a suicide ship. Maybe a roll of 1-3 would be better? Would 1-2 be too little of a chance?

You're right, 1-4 seems far too brutal. I guess I wasn't really thinking about your original suggestion above. Smile

Clearly there needs to be a reason to have ships attempt to get through the mines.

Garrett
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Bolo_MK_XL
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you only locate mines when you reach range 1 --
Searching/sweeping a field in the vicinity of a base will just be suicidal to start with --
Going slow enough to find the field will just leave you open to multiple turns of PH-IV fire --
Stopping to sweep it just adds to the hurt --
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