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Starfighters as Challenge for a Capital Ship
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DougRed4
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:32 pm    Post subject: Starfighters as Challenge for a Capital Ship Reply with quote

Even doing scaling only once (and not twice, as the other thread discusses), does anybody have any ideas for how to make a number of smaller starfighters actually a challenge for a single capital ship?

My players are heading to an area to deal with pirates, and I'd like to throw a bunch of smaller ships against their capital ship. My hope is to make it enough of a challenge that they're forced to send out the mini-squadron they carry with them all the time (something they've yet to do). Right now aboard their capital ship (a modified Loronor Medium Transport), they've got a Y-wing, a Z-95 Headhunter, two XC-01 Jedi Starfighters, and a modified YT-1150, all that could be piloted and make a fun "rag-tag squadron".

My concern is that if I just send the typical half-dozen starfighters, they're going to pose no threat to the capital ship, due to scaling (that's what seemed to happen in the past). Should I give them ion weapons? Missiles?
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griff
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With several starfighters firering two photon torpedoes and concussion missiles should be able to create damage to a capital ship. In Return of the Jedi starfighter were able to destroy the shield globe on a super star destroyer. Old riddle "how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time".
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Coordinated fire, targetted fire.. can all make a difference.
Also that might be a spot to use the 'dice pool' rules from ROE.. Take d off to hit to add to damage.
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vanir
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure we just did this in our game last session.

We used Z-95C (Rebel version, closer to X-Wing stats), fitted with twin long range concussion missile launchers (2 missiles for each tube), and a variety of warhead choices. We got some special warheads for this mission, but they're rare, expensive and troublesome for armourers to deal with. We got a few nuclear warheads (4D capital scale damage), and a few ion canister warheads (5D ion damage).

With a full squadron so equipped we made short work of two Nebulon-B frigates, which are as good as any light cruiser for combat value.

We had cover from two six-ship squadrons, 6 X-Wings and 6 Y-Wings with capable pilots/gunners. Them and the PC starfighters (most were flying more X-Wings on loan from the Rebs for the mission), they took care of the TIE fighters.

To help them along a bit, the Nebs were part of a reserve fleet and base TIE squadrons and not naval line squadrons were used, so the TIE pilots only had 4D+2 skill and slower, older model TIE used by the Imperial Army, Garrisons and reserve units (move:8, otherwise as TIE/ln).

That left the Z-ers pretty much free to do close attack runs on the Neb with only its FlaK fire as a threat.
Concussions according to RAW affect particle shielding and the hull, and can ignore energy shields.
Protons are different because particle shielding renders them inert. You have to take down ship power to hit them with proton torpedos, clearly these weapons are designed for ground targets and not antishipping.

Add warhead variety to your concussions and you can go for all sorts of capabilities.
A big combined action, peppering an enemy cruiser with nukes, well we severely damaged a surprise strike-cruiser with a squadron of starfighters releasing nukes.

To prevent nukes, which give capital scale damage to a starfighter, from overpowering starfighter squadrons (especially combing up coordinated attacks), I suggest that nuclear engineers must be provided to arm and install the warhead to a concussion launcher. I doubt any PCs are nuclear engineers so that keeps them under GM control firstly.
Secondly make them rare because they're old tech and as dangerous to the users as they are the target, and they do horrific collatoral damage.
They're not a weapon the Rebellion would enjoy or even advise using I'm sure, it would be rarely occasioned and probably under a "black ops" style scenario they'd use them at all.
Because they're old, kind of low brow in ecological terms, and dangerous to anyone near them at all times, these would be rare in the advanced space tech star wars galaxy, which makes them expensive. I'd suggest keeping them to small numbers at exhorbitent cost and generally illegal if caught by planetary security forces even having them.
I also disadvantage ships carrying nukes by ruling their radiation alerts the passive sensors on any ships within range immediately as a free action, as a radiological alarm. The GM ruling is therefore any warship carrying nukes in a launcher ready for deployment, is always immediately identified as carrying nukes by any enemy within passive sensor range, without even having to look at his sensor screen. He knows which ships have nukes on board, and which don't, the ones carrying nukes obviously become high value targets and everything on the field immediately goes for them to the exclusion of all others. That could be a problem when you carry a nuke in a war zone.
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DougRed4
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
Coordinated fire, targetted fire.. can all make a difference.
Also that might be a spot to use the 'dice pool' rules from ROE.. Take d off to hit to add to damage.


By "targeted fire" do you mean some sort of called shot? The ROE idea is a good one. I'm not sure I have that supplement, but have followed some discussion elsewhere about this very topic. Is there a maximum number of dice it recommends/allows to be shuffled from one to the other?

vanir wrote:
Sure we just did this in our game last session.

We used Z-95C (Rebel version, closer to X-Wing stats), fitted with twin long range concussion missile launchers (2 missiles for each tube), and a variety of warhead choices. We got some special warheads for this mission, but they're rare, expensive and troublesome for armourers to deal with. We got a few nuclear warheads (4D capital scale damage), and a few ion canister warheads (5D ion damage).


Do the ion canisters do capital-scale damage?

Nukes sound pretty lethal, but they're pretty rare in the SWU, aren't they?

BTW, thanks so much for all the help, all! Very Happy
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vanir wrote:

I also disadvantage ships carrying nukes by ruling their radiation alerts the passive sensors on any ships within range immediately as a free action, as a radiological alarm. The GM ruling is therefore any warship carrying nukes in a launcher ready for deployment, is always immediately identified as carrying nukes by any enemy within passive sensor range, without even having to look at his sensor screen. He knows which ships have nukes on board, and which don't, the ones carrying nukes obviously become high value targets and everything on the field immediately goes for them to the exclusion of all others. That could be a problem when you carry a nuke in a war zone.


Kind of like how the NEW Battle star galactica had things.. Me likey.

Quote:
By "targeted fire" do you mean some sort of called shot? The ROE idea is a good one. I'm not sure I have that supplement, but have followed some discussion elsewhere about this very topic. Is there a maximum number of dice it recommends/allows to be shuffled from one to the other?


Yes. While its not codified in canon anywhere, you can make called (targeted) shots to specific areas of a person/ship, which SHOULD do more damage, like say hitting the gunwell of a turbolaser on an ISD should be harder to hit than hitting the ship itself (say -4d penalty to your gunnery roll) but the turbolaser should not get the benefit of the ISD's full hull, say it rolls 2d body (still scaled though)..

As for the ROE dice pooling.. you have several options given (all on page 58 ).. Flat out skill bonus. Where what you succeed in the to hit roll gets added to damage on a 1 for 1 basis. So if you hit with a 31 more than you needed, you add 31 to damage.
Skill bonus mark 2, where its +1 damage per 5 over the to hit you succeed by.
And dice pooling, whether its at a flat 1d to damage per d you remove for your to hit pool, or 1d per 2d pulled (my personal choice of how to pool).. With me, you can pool only your BASE skill, not any modifiers you get.
So say your starship gunnery is 5d+1, and you are using a 3d+1 fire control weapon system, shooting at a cap ship +6d. You can pool your 5d+1 (which would equate to 2d bonus damage with 1d+1 left), but not the fire control or the scale difference.

Quote:
Nukes sound pretty lethal, but they're pretty rare in the SWU, aren't they?


Something i would also add in, is if that a nuke is targeted and gets hit, it detonates ON the carrier.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DougRed4 wrote:
By "targeted fire" do you mean some sort of called shot? The ROE idea is a good one. I'm not sure I have that supplement, but have followed some discussion elsewhere about this very topic. Is there a maximum number of dice it recommends/allows to be shuffled from one to the other?

I think he's referring to the Ship Location Targeting optional rule from Pirates and Privateers. In essence, it allows same or smaller scale attackers to focus on specific points on a target rather than just hammering away at the hull. In short, the smaller the target, the greater the difficulty to hit, but also the greater potential to inflict damage. The rules are included in the D6 Holocron's Optional Rules Resource if you don't have a copy of Pirates and Privateers.

Quote:
Do the ion canisters do capital-scale damage?

Do you need them to? I know the TIE Fighter video game had Magpulse ordnance that inflicted ionization damage.

Quote:
Nukes sound pretty lethal, but they're pretty rare in the SWU, aren't they?

I don't recall nukes ever being mentioned in any official material. IMO, nukes are a bit too real-world for a sci-fi setting. If I wanted to give starfighters anti-capital ship capacity (which I do), I'd make up rules for the Heavy Rockets or Space Bombs (which I'm working on), which are also from the TIE Fighter game.

A resource I've always enjoyed is Urban Lundqvist's Wing Pylon System, which includes heavy anti-ship missiles and rules for mounting them externally on starfighters.
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DougRed4
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots of great stuff, guys. I think I'll utilize a few things from both Pirates & Privateers and The Rebel Specforce Handbook.

crmcneill wrote:
The rules are included in the D6 Holocron's Optional Rules Resource if you don't have a copy of Pirates and Privateers.


Fortunately I do (have P&P). But I wasn't able to figure out where this Optional Rules Resource is. Is it a download there off the Main Page? The "House Rules" section over on the Wiki part?
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here.

There is a lot more here available for download; just click on the Downloads option to the left.
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DougRed4
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, crmcneill. I was surprised by how much stuff is there to download at that site!

Also, I can foresee getting into the same situation I had when I hit my PCs with an ion pulse mine, where they were forced to jump into their starfighters and fire them up (via cold-start).

Anybody know any ways to facilitate this? If their capital ship is getting pounded, how do I encourage them to man their starfighters, when realistically it would take them minutes to be combat ready? (and of course, two minutes = 24 turns, by which time they could easily be dead, if I make the starfighters with enough punch to threaten the bigger ship!)
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, most aircraft carrier don't keep their entire small craft contingent ready to launch at a moment's notice. Usually, a small number are kept on alert status, ready to launch at a moment's notice, while the others (as you say) can take several minutes to be launch ready. You can time the story so that the incident happens while your characters are the scheduled alert fighters, and are thus the only starfighters available to launch, thus forcing them to take on the attackers alone before reinforcements are available.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought I read somewhere that proton torpedoes had a fusion reaction...
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jmanski wrote:
I thought I read somewhere that proton torpedoes had a fusion reaction...

Could be, but they are never out-and-out called nuclear weapons.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

crmcneill wrote:
Well, most aircraft carrier don't keep their entire small craft contingent ready to launch at a moment's notice. Usually, a small number are kept on alert status, ready to launch at a moment's notice, while the others (as you say) can take several minutes to be launch ready. You can time the story so that the incident happens while your characters are the scheduled alert fighters, and are thus the only starfighters available to launch, thus forcing them to take on the attackers alone before reinforcements are available.


Good point. As a carrier jock (spent my first 4 years out of school/boot camp on carriers) we had an average of 6 fighters on 'ready standby'.
So i can see a standard fighter carrier for the SW realm having a full flight (4 fighters) in that capacity.
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DougRed4
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, our capital ship has only those ships that I listed earlier. I suppose I could have three of them (the modified YT and the two Jedi starfighters) on 'standby' at all times, or when they near a system.

Just like rushing an Astrogation roll can be done (at a penalty), I wonder if quick-starting a starship could be done similarly.
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