Joined: 11 May 2011
|Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:55 am Post subject: House rules changes
|I'll post House rules that vary from RAW in here as I think of them or they come up in gameplay.
Best thought of as broken into phases: target acquisition and combat resolution.
To get a fire control bonus you need to "paint" enemy craft on your sensors, requiring a successful use of sensors detection at some stage before firing, even if you can see the enemy starship.
Characters can fire "across open sights" meaning if you can see a starship, you can shoot at it but you don't get the bonus from the fire control computer doing this, you need the target acquired on sensors first.
It is important to remember that space units are great distances and small craft in particular become hard to see with normal vision at only a few kilometres.
As a basic, general rule of thumb, a shuttle or starfighter sized craft is within visual range at 2-5 space units depending on the size of the craft, meaning beyond this range you are only going to even know an enemy craft is there if you use sensors, or if he fires on you. Larger craft can obviously be seen further.
Another issue is when craft are distant you can't tell if it is friend or foe unless you successfully identify the craft with your sensors, which will not only tell you the type of craft but also give a transponder reading (IFF call).
Thus sensors operation plays a very big role in starship combat. It is much less of an issue in atmospheres because most combat occurs close enough to visually detect and identify enemy craft. But even here you want to be using Per/search actions frequently to keep from being "bounced" by enemy fighters.
In fighter combat it is always the one you didn't see that kills you.
Similarly in starship combat your avionics need to be used with skill actions to work for you. The only exception is one aerial in the standard passive sensor array which reacts to fire control computers "locking" the starship, it is tuned to the specific frequency of fire control computers and therefore tells you when you are being fired upon and the direction. You will always know if you are being shot at, it sounds an alarm.
Jamming enemy sensors becomes a valuable tactic. Most military grade sensors have ECM/ECCM capabilities built into them as standard. Jamming is simply a case of opposed sensors skill without bonuses.
Some specialised jamming equipment can be custom installed to provide bonuses.
Jamming can be used to prevent an IFF-call, so that an enemy craft cannot determine whether you are friendly or foe. Some fighter pilots have standing orders not to fire on unidentified craft to prevent fratricide.
Jamming can also be used to prevent a fire control lock, even if you are detected easily the weapons cannot track you, so fire control bonus is not gained if successful.
Jamming can also be used to prevent communications between enemy craft, but in this case the subspace set is used and the communications skill is rolled for each side. If successful things like coordinated squadron actions can be prevented, such as four starfighters combining fire upon you cannot be coordinated because their communications are jammed. Another effective combat tactic.
Using shields differs markedly from RAW, in part making up for the increased difficulty in House rules combat.
You may set the shields as an action declaration or angle the shields as a reaction skill.
1. When setting the shields you split the dice value as described in RAW but it is not a reaction skill, it is an action declaration. Easy for 1 firing arc, moderate for 2, difficult for 3 and very difficult for 4. You also get a bonus option of "doubling the shields" on a single firing arc for one full round at heroic difficulty, the shield dice are doubled for one round following the action on the selected arc.
Except for "doubling shields" the shields remain set until switched off or realigned when used in this way. Most starships cruise with full front shields set if entering nebulae that may contain radiation clouds as an example of general use.
2. When angling the deflector shields the skill roll is used as a reaction skill and you get full shield dice against each shot for which you roll shields as a reaction, on any and every firing arc. If you are shot at 4 times in the round, the shields operator must roll 4 reaction skill values at -3D MAP, one for each shot. The value is added to the manoeuvre/dodge roll of the pilot. If the shot succeeds in striking the ship, but is less than the combined dodge/shields skill values, the angling of deflector shields was successful and full shield dice are used for damage soak.
When the shields operator is no longer angling the deflector shields he either sets them as description 1. above, or they are switched off.
Special dogfighting rules.
When at BVR or beyond visual range you are at such a distance that an enemy craft cannot quickly or easily move from one facing of your ship to another. If you are heading towards him, he is on the front arc, then even if he turns to the side at full throttle a gentle turn will bring him back into your frontal arc.
When you are at close range, within visual range a different type of combat flying is involved called BFM or basic flight manoeuvres, which means if he turns his craft and accelerates he can quickly and easily move from one facing to another, because you are so close. This is the dogfight.
When dogfighting enemy craft, unless you have turreted weapons you must out-maneouvre the enemy craft each round to fire on him. If his dodge/maneouvre is higher than yours, he moves to another facing or out of weapon field in the vertical plane during the round.
If you have weapons only on the front arc, an enemy craft can outmanoeuvre you in BFM combat to wind up on your side and below you, then outmanoeuvre you again the following round to bring his own guns to face on you.
So in dogfighting you need to not only outshoot your enemy, you need to outfly him too. Generally speaking it is easier to shoot down enemy craft at BVR but you rely on sensors to track him. If you get close it's a harder contest, especially against highly manoeuvrable starfighters. If he has a lot more dice than you to work with, you might wind up frantically using search rolls just to see where he went, especially if you're being sensor jammed. You might receive hits on unexpected quarters.
Joined: 11 May 2011
|Posted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:16 pm Post subject:
|Keeping powers up
I prefer the house rule that maintaining a Force power requires only a singular act on the part of the user unless specified otherwise, so following the round of activation the MAP for maintaining a power is only -1D MAP and not -1D for each Force skill involved in the power. It may require more concentration to activate a power than it does to maintain it, basically as less meditative preparation is involved once you've already established your "zone" for the power.