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Particle and Energy/Ray Shields
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shootingwomprats
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:25 pm    Post subject: Particle and Energy/Ray Shields Reply with quote

Per SER&E p.126 explains that shields come in two varieties doing different things. This leads me to believe that all ships carry both types of shields.

Particle Shields: deflect all sorts of physical objects, including asteroids, missiles and proton torpedoes. They are used at all times, except when a ship launches fighters, missiles or torpedoes. When a ship lowers its particle shields, reduce its hull code by -2D (a ship that loses its main power generator also loses its particle shields).

Energy/Ray Shields: are normally activated only in combat, and must cover a specific fire arcs to be effective in combat.

p.127 states that, "Shields cannot protect a ship from ion cannon damage."

My questions are:

1. Do you think is can be inferred that all ships (ie TIE/in which do NOT have energy shields) have at least particle shields?
2. When ion cannons fire on a ship should the hull soak be modified by -2D?
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DougRed4
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1) I think TIEs probably have particle shields, but not energy/ray shields.

2) I don't believe it should be modified.
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Methedor
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had similar questions before myself. For instance if a ship (say Hull 3D) with no shields gets a shield generator then its get's disabled would it suddenly have Hull 3D - 2D = 1D? Or by the token of Particle shields would the Hull 3D Become Hull 5D (Hull 3D +2D from particle shielding)

Q 1) I have always thought that the Ray Shields and Particle Shields were apart of the same Generator. Now a thought could be argued that the particle shields can be viewed as the "navigation deflector shield" and such is a different device. in which case you'd be correct. However my standard opinion is that it is one system. (at least until something suitable changed my mind)

Q 2) Sue to the fact that ION cannons are causing electrical/power-energy disruption and not "physical" Energy or Kinetic damage I would say that the soak would not be modified, because integrity is not the target as it were.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Particle and Energy/Ray Shields Reply with quote

shootingwomprats wrote:
Per SER&E p.126 explains that shields come in two varieties doing different things. This leads me to believe that all ships carry both types of shields.

Particle Shields: deflect all sorts of physical objects, including asteroids, missiles and proton torpedoes. They are used at all times, except when a ship launches fighters, missiles or torpedoes. When a ship lowers its particle shields, reduce its hull code by -2D (a ship that loses its main power generator also loses its particle shields).

Energy/Ray Shields: are normally activated only in combat, and must cover a specific fire arcs to be effective in combat.

p.127 states that, "Shields cannot protect a ship from ion cannon damage."

My questions are:

1. Do you think is can be inferred that all ships (ie TIE/in which do NOT have energy shields) have at least particle shields?
2. When ion cannons fire on a ship should the hull soak be modified by -2D?


1. I can't find anything in the published rules one way or the other. My opinion on this is that all ships (except maybe VERY archaic ones) are equipped with particle shielding even if they're not designed for combat duty, and whether or not they are equipped with additional ray/energy shields, for purposes of protecting the hull from micro-meteors and other space debris.

However, replacing a ship's shields with better ones (they are almost impossible to improve beyond their designed ratings, see Galaxy Guide 8: Tramp Freighters, 2nd edition, pg. 40) does not improve the Hull value, even though standard shielding systems employ both particle and energy/ray shielding (same reference as above.) This suggests that there is a hard limit (2D) on how effective particle shielding actually is under any set of circumstances. "Limits of current technology" ceilings are hardly unprecedented in the published rules.

2. When it comes to ion "damage," one always has to keep in mind that "damage" needs to be used in quotes (whether the writers remembered to do it or not) because there's no actual physical damage being done. In any instance involving ion weapons, the Hull code is being used as an estimate approximating a ship's overall structure (one is using an ionizing effect to attempt to mess with the craft's electrical systems, and the overall density of the ship's structure obviously has something to do with that even though it's not resisting any sort of structural damage in this case.) My conclusion is that, when it comes to ion weapons, nothing having to do with shields comes into play at all and the Hull rating is representing something other than the ship's ability to resist damage (without quotes) in those instances and should be used as is.

I also just thought of an EXTREMELY nasty tactic to use, based on the above..
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shootingwomprats
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well my take on this, since ion cannons are designed to circumvent energy shields and that particle shields are just another type of energy shield they should be circumvented as well. This would mean that ship hull ratings would be -2D for the purpose of soak damage vs ion cannons. This definitely gives ion cannons a much needed boost.

Lets be honest, no one is afraid of ion cannons. As RAW its entirely too hard to get enough controls ionized to make a ship go to controls dead and even if you do get that far, it only lasts for 2 rounds and does not reduce speed. Ion cannons per RAW are indeed useless.

BUT. If we take into account that the hull rating is indeed -2D this gives them a great deal more punch.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My take is that particle shields are on all ships, otherwise any and all craft would be very quickly reduced to scrap from micro-meteors or from flying through an area of space-bourne dust. This accounts for the standard Hull die code.

So even a TIE fighter has rudimentary particle shields, otherwise a very expensively trained pilot and craft would be toast too often due to just running routine patrols.

Now, archaic ships? Let's assume no shielding (or very basic) but perhaps a thicker hull (or a lower Hull die code), but for everything in general use, Hull = Hull + Particle shields, simple as that.

When anyone talks about upgrading shields, they're updating the energy shields only, Particle are separate. When anyone talks about upgrading Hull code, we can assume it's beefing up the structure, but particle shields themselves always stay at the '2D' rating, but in their defense they protect against all the little things no one thinks about...


As far as Ion weapons go, I agree that in RAW they're practically useless, we saw the problems wrought by the Ion cannon at Hoth, a whole Star Destroyer was rendered useless, at least temporarily, and yet RAW doesn't reflect that.

So I agree that Ion weapons should be rolling against the -2D Hull (1D minimum) and no shielding. We can assume that's not just the particle shields being bypassed, but any and all electronic enhancements that help hold the ship together are impacted. Which makes Ion weapons much more effective.

We read the fluff about pirates or privateers, or even Imperial customs ships and boardings, but without an effective Ion weapon to temporarily render the ship inoperable, it would be a hard fight to get to that point.


That's what I'm leaning towards... Very Happy



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am also in favor of adding -1 Move for every controls ionized result as well. This can be explained away as causing energy fluctuations in the reactor relays causing the reactor to automatically shunt power and eventually go offline as opposed to blowing up. Sorry its not Star Trek, there is no jettisoning the reactor.

By adding the -1 Move penalty it will have the added effect of slowing the ship down, which I do believe should be one of its functions. Well that and also making it exceedingly hard to jump to hyperspace.

Perhaps an added effect would be scrambling the astrogation computer and losing all calculated information. This would force the characters to recalculate the jump (requiring at least 12 rounds) or making a hasty jump (astrogation +30).

I like both of these ideas a great deal.

Quote:
Ion weapons should be rolling against the -2D Hull (1D minimum)


I think I would disagree with this. Ion weapons typically only have 4D in them and a 16+ is needed for controls dead, which again only lasts 2 rounds. Or if the ship takes a total number of controls ionized equal to its Hull (have not decided if this stat should include the -2D or not, I am leaning towards no).

Of course this would ionize a TIE/In in one shot. It has a hull of 2D and if it took even 2 controls ionized it would spend the rest of the turn and the next flying in a straight line. The pilot must make piloting rolls or the ship automatically crashes (if there's something to run into) or goes spinning out of control. During those two rounds she ship maintains speed, direction, it cannot turn, fire weapons, make shield attempts or take any other action.

All of this is per RAW. Though I don't understand why the pilot would still get to make piloting rolls. The doesn't seem to be able to do anything. If you take the snowspeeder on Hoth as an exampled, at the point this happens, the ship is going down, not much to do but hold on and spend Character Points on soak.

There are a lot of ways to improve ion weapons. I think we are currently on to something good.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Particle and Energy/Ray Shields Reply with quote

shootingwomprats wrote:
Per SER&E p.126 explains that shields come in two varieties doing different things. This leads me to believe that all ships carry both types of shields.

Particle Shields: deflect all sorts of physical objects, including asteroids, missiles and proton torpedoes. They are used at all times, except when a ship launches fighters, missiles or torpedoes. When a ship lowers its particle shields, reduce its hull code by -2D (a ship that loses its main power generator also loses its particle shields).

Energy/Ray Shields: are normally activated only in combat, and must cover a specific fire arcs to be effective in combat.

p.127 states that, "Shields cannot protect a ship from ion cannon damage."

My questions are:

1. Do you think is can be inferred that all ships (ie TIE/in which do NOT have energy shields) have at least particle shields?
2. When ion cannons fire on a ship should the hull soak be modified by -2D?


I have yet to play in a group who actually took that to mean a ship with no power (therefore no particle shields) would be 2d less hull, otherwise there would be some ships out there with NO hull while powered down. As to ignoring ion/-2d for hull from it, i say no. I treat hull as being hull itself.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tend to agree with the idea that the Hull would continue to include the the particle shields. In the example listed below Ion Cannons it does not incur a -2D penalty vs the Hull. It does raise an interesting question though. Why bother to have the rule listed (if particle shields are dropped Hull -2D) if there is not real chance of using it? Also, it appears in the section right before Ion Cannon Damage and from its placement, the rules are connected in some way.

I know I am making a lot of assumptions but I also don't think they are huge stretches either. I think that something people are forgetting in this discussion of allowing or not allowing the -2D Hull vs ion cannon soak rolls is that ion cannons do no real damage. So a ship that would be reduced to Hull 0 (say a TIE/In) when fired upon would have no resistance and the total of damage would roll against the Ion Cannon Damage Table. A score of 16+ would only be dead controls.

The additional issue is what does controls dead mean. On the accompanying page it stated if a ship takes a total amount of controls ionized equal to or greater than the Hull code the controls are locked and goes on to explain what that means. No explanation of controls dead is given.

If we infer that this is different from controls locked that it must means that all ship systems are offline for the rest of the scene as no time is given beyond the stun rules which make things last only two rounds.

I know this is long winded but the point I am making for the -2D hull penalty is that its not the same as rolling soak for damage.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a usage. For a large ship to launch smaller craft, particle shields must be lowered. This would mean launching fighters while in close combat is a dangerous thing as the hull code would be weaker for a possibly horrible moment or three.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Which might make for a tactics roll to try and time your attack ON the enemy vessel (say a carrier) with torps and concussion missiles for WHEN he is dropping his particle shields to launch their fighters.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shootingwomprats wrote:


Lets be honest, no one is afraid of ion cannons. As RAW its entirely too hard to get enough controls ionized to make a ship go to controls dead and even if you do get that far, it only lasts for 2 rounds and does not reduce speed. Ion cannons per RAW are indeed useless.

BUT. If we take into account that the hull rating is indeed -2D this gives them a great deal more punch.


I disagree with you on thse points. First off, quite a few of us are afraid of ion cannons. As a player and as a GM they are one of my biggest worries-since if the PCs ship gets ionized a few times, they will be sitting ducks, and rapidly become dead ducks.

I also disagree with you about how hard it is to ionize a ship. Most ships don't have that high a hull code, and most ion cannons have a high fire control, so most gunners can take multiple shots.

If the group uses any of the optional for augmenting damage, ion guns become very powerful-too powerful. Keep in mind that ion guns are great weapons to spend Cps to boost the damage. Since they are non-lethal weapons, the chances of the gunner getting a DSP is fairly low (and bad guys with Cps don't care about DSPs).
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And since ions ARE non lethal, its a lot easier to get bigger/more potent ones on your ship installed and passed imperial customs.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
Which might make for a tactics roll to try and time your attack ON the enemy vessel (say a carrier) with torps and concussion missiles for WHEN he is dropping his particle shields to launch their fighters.


I'm picturing what might happen if someone, such as an infiltrator or other saboteur, were to switch the particle shielding back on while fighters were in the process of launching. Also, assuming that the timing of particle shields being dropped while projectile weapons are being launched is done very carefully so that they only "flicker" off for a very small space of time during the launching process, what if someone were to throw that timing off just slightly? In either case, I can't imagine anything GOOD resulting.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the case of warheads I'd imagine that the ship would take damage from the detonation of the warhead at damage-1D depending on type (Explosive, Shape Charged, Kinetic, Proton Torpedo). In the case of fighters I'd think a ram at Combat Launch (Scramble) speed would be 8-10D with a destroyed result possibly meaning that the reactor goes thus causing roughly 12D damage (based on the occupant injury rules) I'd probably shift the Capital Hull scale for a hangar explosion.

This is from the top of my sleep deprived head. I do like the idea of Particle shield sabotage!
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