Sunday, May 7, 2023

2-Parsec Update: Rock Paper Scissors of TL9

 So I have a Spreadsheet to speed up building Ships, and I now have a partially working set of rules. So now I'm testing the scenarios by simply writing up their stats and mentally walking through the scenarios. Things I realized. 

  1.  as DTons are HP, fighters are very easily killed since damage is typically in the scale of 1d6 + Success Effect and Burst Damage Rules. Fighters are really fragile, while Ships with 100dtons have about a hundred HP. 
    1. 200-300DT merchants with 2-3 Tripple Turrets can have Missiles or Beam weapons able to burst fire (3-4 shots for a DM+1 for +1 damage to +1d6 damage). If the PCs win their Opposed Rolls to hit, Fighters having no armor will take 2d6+Effect damage, and Effects now have a minimum of 1 (because 0 effect breaks a number of mechanics that rely on the Success Effect). 
  2. Fighters are worth 17-20M, because if you count their hangar that is the total cost of ownership. Fighters are the best way to add Force to a Ship. You can measure Firepower by Turrets or Hard Points. Note that Bay weapons requires a Hard point. Image that 17-20M for an additional 3 Weapons of Firepower! And of course the 2 additional Crew:. 
    1. You wouldn’t want 1-crew. That means Adjust Speed + Gunnery Check. Multi Tasking penalty. The penalties are going to stack up. 2-Crew fighters are the minimum. 
  3. Making a ship just with Sandcasters a VIABLE strategy is good game design (in my opinion) - it allows PCs who want to purely be commercial a chance to thrive. Also it allows for the Specialized Roles. It can make a game really simple - and simple helps with the complexity of this game. 
    1. These ships are still effective as they can deal 1dmg and burst fire allows 6-9 Sand Casters to deal 1dd6+1 to 2d6+1 damage plus effect. 
    2. Significant Action + Reaction + Initiative to Gain Reactions means a defender can go through a lot of Sand Canisters per turn.
  4.  Experimented with Missile Frigates - ships with just Ship Bay weapons and Burst Fire Rules. 300-400dton War ships whose sole job is to pump as many Smart Missiles at the target while staying as far away as possible. 
    1. Pirates have to deal with these kinds of Warships - and Still threaten. Sand Casters can be used in Point Defense but can't be effective as an Offensive Tool. Not enough teeth if they spend on San Casters. Beam Weapons can start shooting down Missiles from a Medium range, but that's what the Gunners are doing - having to swat away Missiles while the Missile Frigates will just saturate their defense. Burst fire rules means Missiles dealing more than their 1d6 damage against armor of 8. I noticed it becomes a very high attrition game. 
    2. Beam + Sand Casters are Defense in Depth. 
    3. If Missiles End their Turn (Note their 10 thrust) at Close or Short Range Point Defense action can work. 
  5.  The Missile Frigates have Escort Frigates, which have 8 sand Casters and 4 beam weapons and 4 escort fighters. At a 800dton engagement 1 missile frigate and 1 Escort Frigate can easily deal with the a 600-800 dtons fo Raiders. Specialization gives a higher effectivity per Dtons, which is important for mechanics to reflect. 
    1. More Intense Combat will take Hours to resolve. It can occupy multiple 2-3 sessions. A 400dton Q-ship vs a 600dton Raider, with the Q ship with Veteran Crew (All skills are DM+2) and the Raider are Skilled at DM+1  will take 2-3 hours to resolve depending on the rolls, especially since these ship carry Fighters and Ship’s Boat. 
    2. Trained DM+0, Skilled DM+1, Veteran DM+2, Elite DM+3. 
  6. Some NOTES: Comms-Sensor station limits. The number of stations that can fit in a bridge equals the Dtons. 
  7. Folded Comms-Sensor with Navigator. Note the Captain can be Comms-Sensor or Navigator if they are better at that. If you want maximum DM bonuses then Captain should be a dedicated Roll with Coordinate Crew. Captain with Leadership and Tactics pretty much increase the DM effectiveness of the Crew by a lot. 
  8. Problems: FEATURES - these complicate the encounter should be pretty realistic. 
    1. Asteroid - a large enough asteroid between two sides gives a DM bonus to someone Evading but 
    2. Debris Fields  - a cloud of spaces where ships here take damage and have DM penalties 
    3. (Magnetic or Solar or Ion) Storms - for 1d6 turns DM-1d6 penalties to all rolls, the GM hides all the other groups’ tokens simulating both groups will be blind. IF there is an asteroid, they could seek shelter from the storm using the asteroid, halving the penalties. 
Criteria of a Good Space Combat Mechanics
  1. Easily set up Scenarios. 
  2. The same Scenario can have different Outcomes based on the the die roll. In other words I’m conscious about the odds multiplied by the frequency of rolls and how these aggregate in probability to make for interesting combat. 
  3. It’s unlikely the GM and Players to miss an opportunity or a Step which will change the outcome. A sign of a mechanic that needs a lot of improvement is that it overwhelms the the Players and GM. Over simple is GOOD, of course simple needs at least some choices. 
People who Buy 2-Parsec with its Ship Combat Fixes and Ships will have the following
  1. Spreadsheet of Ships and Docs of the Ships for easy cut and pasting for the GM’s preparation. (There will be a PDF if that helps but if the Players are going to Tweak their Ship and all the like, it just saves them so much time to have the Docs and Spreadsheet). 
  2. I’ll be throwing in the Models and Blender Files I used to Kitbash these ships so the GM can change the colors and make their own tokens. 
    1. Missiles
    2. Fighters
    3. Raiders
    4. Merchants 
    5. Freighters
    6. Q-Ship Merchants
  3. Token and Token Marker Packs for Roll20 (I’m not sure about how token markers work the other VTTs since I’ve never tried them). 
  4. YouTube Videos of how these all work
    1. Ship Combat Tutorial the Basics
    2. Blender Basics on how to Customize the Models and How I convert them into Tokens. 
    3. How to use the Spreadsheet for creating CE RAW ships. 

I hope the products will make people play more since it’s Easier, there are tools to speed up prep and ready to use scenarios, they can keep most of the stuff they already made. 

Targeting start of June. 

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