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About A Call to Arms
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Darkwing
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Joined: 23 Oct 2010
Posts: 249
Location: ZZ 9 plural Z A

PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those are some beauties you have there! Next to the green liner, is that Excalibur from Crusade?
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Tice Leonard, U.S.S. Lexington & IKV Annihilation
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Dan Ibekwe
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Joined: 08 Mar 2007
Posts: 452
Location: Manchester UK

PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okayyy, let's see if this works...

http://www.mawsblackpanthers.co.nr/

Good, it seems to.

I don't feel happy posting lots of pics of non-ADB minis here - it's not really fair - so the link above is to my local club's website. I've just posted photos of a few of my B5 ships there, with a Zocchi Enterprise for scale. You'll need to scroll down a bit to find them.

Note that the B5 station and the Earth Force Explorer are in AoG's smaller 'fleet action' scale, about 1/4 that of the other ships. They were never released in 'full' scale - they'd have been impractically large. Also notice that 'full' scale isn't that consistent, otherwise the White Star would be miniscule.

Darkwing - yes, that's Excalibur. She was originally sculpted by AoG, but due to their contract with Paramount, they could not release the mini (their contract only covered the TV series, not Crusade or the feature-length TV movies). Mongoose *were* able to sell it.

Right, A Call to Arms move sequence follows shortly...
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Last edited by Dan Ibekwe on Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:11 am; edited 2 times in total
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Darkwing
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 23 Oct 2010
Posts: 249
Location: ZZ 9 plural Z A

PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent work all around!

I have some wood and sail ships, too, but mine are Napoleonic. Sadly, a mouse got into the container where I had them stored and all but three of them were completely dismasted (and it's REALLY sad that I had them all strung with rigging, shrouds, ensigns, and in the case of flagships, flag signals). From time-to-time I look at them and think about fixing them, but...maybe someday. (I had a model of every ship at Trafalgar and a couple of other famous ships in the crate...only HMS Africa, USS Congress, and HMS Royal Sovereign survived.)
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Dan Ibekwe
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Joined: 08 Mar 2007
Posts: 452
Location: Manchester UK

PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

B5 A Call to Arms turn sequence..

1) Initiative. Each player rolls 2d6 and adds his factions' initiative modifier (defined in the rules. Typically Minbari, +4, Centari +3, Narns +2, Earthforce between +0 and +2 depending on when the game is set - we improve over time). The high scorer chooses whether to move first or second (usually second!).

At this point, and during movement, each player may place one 'Special Action' counter on each ship. These allow ships to move faster or more slowly than normal, trade reduced offensive fire for greater survivability, launch more fighters than normal, et.c.

2) Movement. Each player alternately moves one ship at a time. This can be crucial - some ships (many Narn and EarthForce) have 'boresight' weapons - fixed ahead firing like fighter aircraft - which can only be used against ships that move *before* they do. Who goes first, and who has the most ships, is critical. Many fleets end up with several small vessels acting as "initiative sinks", usually loitering around their rear areas tying to stay out of trouble. Fighters move after ships, alternating flight by flight as above.

3) Firing. Again, players alternate shooting all the weapons on one of their ships in turn, starting with the player who won the initiative.

Fire is *NOT* simultaneous! Damage inflicted is applied immediately, and weapons or entire ships that are destroyed before they can fire do not 'still get their shot'.

Fighters are handled a bit differently - when each ship is activated to shoot, any fighters within their weapons range of her - usually 2 to 4 inches - can declare an attack; the ship has a number of Anti-Fighter dice to try to shoot them down, and any survivous then attack the ship - before she gets to shoot at other ships.

4) Turn end phase. Damage control effects, fighters launch and recover, disabled ships are moved (running adrift), mortally wounded ships may blow up.

Next turn.

That's from memory, and I haven't played the game for about three years, but I think the outline is correct. I've left out some of the more unusual situations that can occur as part of the ACtA campaign system (telepaths trying to jam Shadow ships, Elite captains placing more than one Special Action chit & so forth), and stuff like crew quality effects - which can also change for each ship during campaigns.

And I didn't even mention critical hits...

...and I'll see about that scanner tomorrow Very Happy
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Mike
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Joined: 07 May 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan, thanks for the nice turn summary.

A couple of follow-up questions:

1. What are movement rates like?

2. What are firing ranges like?

I think these will be all the questions I'll have.
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ToddW
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Joined: 11 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ACTA does not use a hex grid. Most ships move 6 to 12 inches per turn. Ships must move at least half their speed unless they use the All Stop action. Big ships usually can make 1 45 degree turn. smaller ships can make two turns of either 45 degrees or 90 degrees.

Weapons max out around 36 inches though many are 20 or less.
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Dan Ibekwe
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Joined: 08 Mar 2007
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Location: Manchester UK

PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some notes on B5 ACtA copied and edited from our club's website...

Quote:
A Call to Arms

When AoG lost the B5 gaming license in 2002, it was picked up by the UK's own Mongoose Publishing. (...)

Mongoose are mostly associated with fantasy RPGs, and were initially more interested in their B5 RPG, seeing the spaceship game as a bit of an optional extra. It's success took them by surprise.

Initially, ACtA looks a lot like B5W - Mongoose bought all the moulds and carried on with almost all of AoG's ship miniatures - not just the canon designs from the TV series, but also the homebrew stuff that AoG had invented themselves. But looks can be deceptive.

ACtA is a very different beast to B5W, simpler even than Full Thrust to play. It achieves this by abandoning realism - ships plow through the firmament at a constant cruising speed, no vector movement or free acceleration nonsense, no range bands for weapons - they're either in range or they aren't, and no 'to-hit' scores - everything hits, you just dice to see if it does any damage.

The result is the ability to play absolutely huge games (this was helped by Mongoose halving the price for the old AoG miniatures). The tactical element is given by Special Orders such as All Stop! All power to Engines! Close Blast Doors! Concentrate All Fire! and several others (note! the! exclaimation! marks!). Each ship may use one of these per turn to speed up, slow down, make herself harder to hurt et.c.

It's quick and brutal and a lot of fun (...)

Upside - quick and bloody, involves a degree of tactical thinking, lots of toys on the table (but can also be played with counters). The rules include a very neat campaign system.

Downside - Some balance issues remain.(...).


Remember that the game engine has undergone a major overhaul since this was written. The old 'Priority Level' arrangement has been replaced by a more conventional points system, and critical hits are now progressive - battleships no can no longer blow up after a single lucky hit.

Those changes were introduced in Mongoose's current Noble Armada incarnation of the game, it's likely there will be further refinements in the SFU version.
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silent bob
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Joined: 30 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ACTA: SF will continue to use the points system and the rules are closer to noble armada in most mechanics. although the shields are more like the abbai in 2nd ed ACTA in that they are pretty much a secondary regenerating damage system.
I am trying to get some of the mechanics changed at the moment but its getting them past matt who is the overall voice on the project.
lots of stuff still in playtest at the moment but if you are an acta player originally and have ideas then feel free to drop me a PM and I can put them forward to the playtest group if they fit in with the general flow of the rules.
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Sllarr
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Joined: 01 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A couple of questions regarding the ACTA system:

1 - Does the movement rules take inertia into consideration or is it similar to FC/SFB ?

2 - How are shields handled in this system ? Will we still have the traditional 6 sides ?
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Mike
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good questions. I hope it does NOT have inertial movement.
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Dan Ibekwe
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In B5 ACTA, momentum did not carry over from turn to turn as such. All ships had a set speed in inches per turn, and could play 'Special Order' chits to travel more slowly, stop, or speed up. If you didn't (or couldn't, due to damage) place a chit, your only choice was to move at between half of and all of your 'move'.

According to Silent Bob's post, shields are being handled as per the Abbai, who used them in the old B5 ACTA rules.

That would mean no shield facings, just one global number for how many hits the shields stop, and a second number for how many shield points regenerate at the start of each turn. Most B5 ships didn't have shields, they relied on armour, so shields being knocked down wasn't as important as it is in the SFU.

That may or may not be an issue. I hope there are some people familiar with the SFU amongst the Mongoose playtesters.

ACTA is a massed fleet action game, we sometimes played 1v1 player with 30 plus ships per side, and finished the game in 3-4 hours. It is *not* FC by other means - FC will give be more challenging in smaller scenarios, ACTASF will work for huge games.

But they'll have to think of a snappier title than that.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So in a sense, there is inertial movement. If a player can't play the chit to reduce the speed of a ship, it may continue moving at its last speed.
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Dan Ibekwe
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, but there was nothing to stop you declaring "All Stop" and halting on one turn, and then "All Power to Engines" and travelling 150% of your standard move on the following turn.
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silent bob
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am familiar with the SFU as I have been playing fedcom for quite some time but unfortunately can never find enough opponents for it so ACTA has always been a good option.

shields have one effective facing and will have their own regen stat, so almost like adding power to shields. you can add more power to shields through special actions. I am trying to get it so you can only be attacked from one arc when boarding if your shields haven't been knocked down or nobody will ever board.

power management will be handled through special actions as mentioned for the all stop, and all power to engines. this allows you to do certain things but with a detriment to other things. so using the example of all power to engines currently if you use this you will have no shield regen in the end phase - positive and negative.
other examples of special actions are: boost energy to shields, high energy turn and overload weapons.
I will let you guess what they do but its fairly obvious the benefits.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the idea of the special actions and how power can be concentrated toward one particular function or spread out for the variety of normal functions.

I've thought of another question. Suppose you take the base ship of a Fed CA. It has 6 Ph-1s, a couple of Ph-3s, and 4 photon torpedoes. How will those translate into game actions for attack (or fire) in ACTA:SF?
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