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Ship to Ship combat in spaaaaaaace!

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1 hour ago, tkdguy said:

I never cared for the way the Hero System did space combat. Plus, I found building a starship in Hero rather painful without a spreadsheet. 

 

When I want to do space combat, I use a system made for that purpose. There are a few free games available online. 

 

Ditto

I've never liked the "ship as a character" in any system. 

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modified movement rules and Car Wars arena combats.

 

There.

 

I've said it, and no: that's enough damage already without clarification. ;)

 

 

In all honesty, easily 80 percent of our ship-to-ship combats (don't take that as meaning there are a lot of them, because there really aren't; at least, there aren't many extra-orbital ones) is handled abstractly or narratively.  It really takes a pitched battle for us to "go to the map" with one.

 

Though if you've got an old copy of StarFleet Battles kicking around....

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Mostly, I avoid ship to ship battles. And if I can get away with a narrative based resolution, I'll take it. Starship battles look cool in movies but I've never seen one that really brought that kind of energy to a tabletop.

I ask myself, what's the point of the battle? Will it bring anything important to the story? Can I make the hotshot pilot not have wasted all those points in stunt flying without making the rest of the table pull out cell phones or take a nap? Usually, the answer is that I can accomplish the same goal without resorting to an actual combat.

 

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All excellent points, and I agree with most of them. 

 

The problem doesn't come from the. GM, though: every now and then, it's just something that the players _will_ make happen.  If you take all the weapons away, they will pack an escape pod full of molotovs; I swear! 

 

"what?  There are no ship-mounted weapons in this campaign?!  That's _great_!  That means they'll _never_ expect _this_..... (proceeds to catapult a a briefcase full of brass bookends into the near-lumina flight path of the target ship....) 

 

The bastards are sneaky, they are. 

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On 12/12/2019 at 11:28 PM, Duke Bushido said:

All excellent points, and I agree with most of them. 

 

The problem doesn't come from the. GM, though: every now and then, it's just something that the players _will_ make happen.  If you take all the weapons away, they will pack an escape pod full of molotovs; I swear! 

 

"what?  There are no ship-mounted weapons in this campaign?!  That's _great_!  That means they'll _never_ expect _this_..... (proceeds to catapult a a briefcase full of brass bookends into the near-lumina flight path of the target ship....) 

 

The bastards are sneaky, they are. 

Hah, love it. What's the saying, "No game survives contact with the players." ;)

Though, that is a narrative resolution. Roll some dice (Demolitions skill, Piloting to aim it and include the hotshot pilot?) to see how effective it is and narrate the results of a beautifully exploding enemy spaceship. End the session there on a high note or go to the bathroom, flush your plans down the toilet, and then come up with something else before returning to the table.

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Fortunately, many of my spaceship combat games were solo affairs. When they weren't I provided the ship write-ups and explained the rules to the players.

 

If you're familiar with Starmada (I have both the Compendium and Nova editions) here are write-ups for my spacecraft:

 

https://flic.kr/s/aHskKTERap

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If you're doing cinematic space dogfights, the dogfighting rules work super well.  They're in the Advanced Player's Guide (p. 188) but have existed in pretty much every Hero Games rulebook in which characters might be flying some kind of airplane or space fighter, with only minor changes from first to last. 

 

I've played using them, once, in a Robot Warriors game.  To me it felt like flying space fighters in a dogfight.   

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3 hours ago, Cassandra said:

Starfire works pretty well if you limit it to weapons, defenses, and propulsion.  

I loved the original Starfire.  Up to about 3rd ed.

After that it was about 90% economic development game 5% starship combat and the last 5 the rest.

 

The fun tactical space combat game ceased to exist over ten years ago. 

 

I tried to strip the tactical portion of the game out of the last two versions and it cannot be done.  Systems no longer have straight forward costs.  It is a mess.  A game for the number wizards that love a game where 95% is one a speed sheet.

 

I have used Starfire in my scifi RPGs before.

 

 

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20 hours ago, Spence said:

I loved the original Starfire.  Up to about 3rd ed.

After that it was about 90% economic development game 5% starship combat and the last 5 the rest.

 

The fun tactical space combat game ceased to exist over ten years ago. 

 

I tried to strip the tactical portion of the game out of the last two versions and it cannot be done.  Systems no longer have straight forward costs.  It is a mess.  A game for the number wizards that love a game where 95% is one a speed sheet.

 

I have used Starfire in my scifi RPGs before.

 

 

 

GDW"s Imperium is the best strategic level space warfare game ever.  Great looking board, battles have a tactical feel with a choice between short range beam weapons and long range missiles, ground combat with division size units, warp lines giving space "Terrain", and a economic system that doesn't force the players to become accountants.  

 

The Avalanche Games 3rd Edition made it more complicated and ruined the interwar period.

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In reality, fuses and circuit breakers have flashover ratings.  Surges that exceed this rating will arc through the fuse/breaker as if it wasn't there.

 

It is left to the reader to determine surge power resulting from a strike by a photon torpedo with a yield anywhere from hundreds of megatons to a gigaton.

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There was supposed to be a 6th Edition Vehicles sourcebook published (it never was), which was the reason 6E Star Hero omitted starship combat rules.  Hopefully, someone will create one under Hall of Champions.  It is a glaring omission and makes 6th Edition HERO incomplete.

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On 12/22/2019 at 5:25 AM, tkdguy said:

Does anyone use miniatures or counters in their space battles? I have a bunch of them, but I haven't used them since my last game a few years ago.

 

 

I'm the other way 'round:

 

I used them right up until my minis failed to make the last move with me...  :(

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