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rpg/tac rules? 
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Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:05 am
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Post rpg/tac rules?
I have seen references on the board about rules for tactical engagements in space?

any one have any idea where i can read those?


Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:50 pm
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Post Re: rpg/tac rules?
The .pdf in this .zip file.

According to the upload timestamp, that file was from the middle of 2006, so you should understand that a number of things (such as the number of SR torpedoes in a cluster, or the number of lasers on escort cruisers) have changed since it went up.


Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:15 pm
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Post Re: rpg/tac rules?
I got a problem... The Loroi ship specs are incomplete (most are missing structural integrity and heat rating), none of the Umaik ships are in the "New-Style Sections" format, and none of the Umaik ships list how much ordnance they carry. I'm hoping to try the rules out on game night later this week.

Any help would be much appreciated.


Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:08 pm
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Post Re: rpg/tac rules?
The simulation was never finished, and has fundamental flaws (especially having to do with damage resolution). The movement system is accurate, so it's useful for simulating fleet movement, but not much else.

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Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:09 pm
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Post Re: rpg/tac rules?
Arioch wrote:
The simulation was never finished, and has fundamental flaws (especially having to do with damage resolution). The movement system is accurate, so it's useful for simulating fleet movement, but not much else.


The rules seem to be based on 1st or 2nd edition StarFire. Have you looked at StarFire 3rd edition or 3rdR (3rd edition Revised)? Everything is changed to 1d10 for the to hit roll, and damage is a fixed value base on range for beams, or warhead type for missiles. You could always add rules for critical and minimal hits if you wanted variable damage, for example, if you roll <= 1/3 what you needed, damage is 150%, if you roll exactly what was needed, damage is 50%. For example, if you need a 6 or less to hit, and roll a 1 or 2, damage is 150%, a 3, 4, or 5 is 100%, a 6 is 50%, and >= 7 is a miss. The advantage is you get rid of the die rolls for the damage tables, so you would speed of play a bit. I wouldn't recommend Galactic StarFire, Ultra StarFire, or Solar StarFire, because they completely abstract fighters and gunboats into flights. I like individual fighters and gunboats. Rather than build fighters and gunboats like ships, why not abstract them just a little bit. Ships use a separate to hit table to attack them, the fighters and gunboats have a modifier based on how hard they are to hit, and a second modifier for how tough they are (likely to survive a hit, three results, no damage, crippled, destroyed). You could always track the number of hits, so even hits that don't damage them reduce their chance of surviving another hit...

What is wrong with damage resolution? I'm tempted to take a couple of Loroi ships and fight a duel between them to see what is wrong. I love the look of both the Loroi and Umaik ships. Great job! When are getting more ship design???


Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:41 am
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Post Re: rpg/tac rules?
The simulation is functional, just not accurate. The main problem has been modeling how defensive screens work. The model that's used in the 2006 version of the sim uses relatively high screen values and allows volley fire damage to be pooled for the purposes of penentrating screens; this works okay for cruiser vs. cruiser battles, but really breaks down in larger battles with big ships (superheavies can one-shot each other with ease). I started work on an alternate model that doesn't pool volley fire, uses smaller screen values but adds a "passive defense" mechanic -- a chance for screens to deflect damage rather than just absorbing it -- but I didn't get very far. I hope to return to this someday, but obviously there are higher priorities.

There are new ship designs in the current chapter.

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Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:42 am
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Post Re: rpg/tac rules?
Yay! New designs! I can't wait to see your DA account update XD

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Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:31 am
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Post Re: rpg/tac rules?
Arioch wrote:
The simulation is functional, just not accurate. The main problem has been modeling how defensive screens work. The model that's used in the 2006 version of the sim uses relatively high screen values and allows volley fire damage to be pooled for the purposes of penentrating screens; this works okay for cruiser vs. cruiser battles, but really breaks down in larger battles with big ships (superheavies can one-shot each other with ease). I started work on an alternate model that doesn't pool volley fire, uses smaller screen values but adds a "passive defense" mechanic -- a chance for screens to deflect damage rather than just absorbing it -- but I didn't get very far. I hope to return to this someday, but obviously there are higher priorities.
szurkey, you might try an extra D6 role on successful hits: if the value is below some "glancing rate" then damaged gets cut or completely dropped.


Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:09 am
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Post Re: rpg/tac rules?
Arioch wrote:
The simulation is functional, just not accurate. The main problem has been modeling how defensive screens work. The model that's used in the 2006 version of the sim uses relatively high screen values and allows volley fire damage to be pooled for the purposes of penentrating screens; this works okay for cruiser vs. cruiser battles, but really breaks down in larger battles with big ships (superheavies can one-shot each other with ease). I started work on an alternate model that doesn't pool volley fire, uses smaller screen values but adds a "passive defense" mechanic -- a chance for screens to deflect damage rather than just absorbing it -- but I didn't get very far. I hope to return to this someday, but obviously there are higher priorities.

There are new ship designs in the current chapter.
I've been busy typing in weapons tables into Numbers (Apple's Spreadsheet program). I only have the Loroi weapons done so far, and I must say that I am not surprised that ships with Superheavy Blasters and Pulse Cannons are one shot killing each other.
Code:
Expected Value for Damage at Various Ranges
Weapon  Range-3 Range-6 Range-12 Range-24
P        0.00    11.17    9.33     5.50
Bh      14.50    10.83    3.17     1.00
B        4.33     2.17    1.00     0.50
8        3.50     1.17    0.67     0.33
Double the damage if you are firing a turret with two weapons in it. And then multiply that by the number of turrets you are firing in one salvo...


Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:49 am
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Post Re: rpg/tac rules?
You see the problem. The reason for having pooled damage was to try to simplify the process of damage resolution, to facilitate combat between larger numbers of ships such as in Starfire, but it doesn't work with the Outsider defensive screens model. Starfire and Star Fleet Battles have Star Trek style "shields are weakened as they absorb damage" which allows you to pool the damage from all of a ship's weapons in a volley and then just allocate it, marking off shield elements as destroyed and then proceeding to internal systems. But the defensive screens act more like armor than traditional shields, so damage from each weapon mount will really have to be resolved individually against a ship's defenses. Which is just as well given mechanics like screen splash, overload damage and the passive deflection concept I have in mind, but it raises the complexity of the system to near that of something like Attack Vector: Tactical, when what I was aiming for was something like Starfire (since Outsider battles are fleet battles, not cruiser duels). Though with the complexity of the movement rules, I guess that was never a realistic goal in the first place.

The obvious solution to the issue is just to implement the system in software, so that it can get as complex as it needs to. Which is what I intend to do, time permitting. It's just not high in the queue of things to do. As a tool for myself in simulating engagements, the movement element of the sim is the most important part, and that is accurate.

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Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:43 am
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Post Re: rpg/tac rules?
Arioch wrote:
You see the problem. The reason for having pooled damage was to try to simplify the process of damage resolution, to facilitate combat between larger numbers of ships such as in Starfire, but it doesn't work with the Outsider defensive screens model. Starfire and Star Fleet Battles have Star Trek style "shields are weakened as they absorb damage" which allows you to pool the damage from all of a ship's weapons in a volley and then just allocate it, marking off shield elements as destroyed and then proceeding to internal systems. But the defensive screens act more like armor than traditional shields, so damage from each weapon mount will really have to be resolved individually against a ship's defenses. Which is just as well given mechanics like screen splash, overload damage and the passive deflection concept I have in mind, but it raises the complexity of the system to near that of something like Attack Vector: Tactical, when what I was aiming for was something like Starfire (since Outsider battles are fleet battles, not cruiser duels). Though with the complexity of the movement rules, I guess that was never a realistic goal in the first place.

The obvious solution to the issue is just to implement the system in software, so that it can get as complex as it needs to. Which is what I intend to do, time permitting. It's just not high in the queue of things to do. As a tool for myself in simulating engagements, the movement element of the sim is the most important part, and that is accurate.


That actually sounds pretty awesome. The sci-fi nerd in me loves the simulation; the CS nerd in me loves the coding. I certainly hope you get the time to build it!


Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:51 pm
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Post Re: rpg/tac rules?
actually THAT is one of the few things that actually could be outsourced to a pretty high degree...just saying.


Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:43 am
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Post Re: rpg/tac rules?
Yeah, I'm pretty sure that if the bunch of us could allocate enough time we could do it without even getting any funding.


Sun Nov 11, 2012 3:06 am
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Post Re: rpg/tac rules?
No doubt.


Sun Nov 11, 2012 3:31 am
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Post Re: rpg/tac rules?
Other ideas for screens:

Damage from incoming fire that is between 50% and 100% of screens, reduces screens by one, but no further damage. Allows for screens to be attrited away by lower strength attacks. This means you can still roll one die to hit with a volley, but each mount (one or two weapons) has damage resolved individually.

Overkill threshold where if damage exceeds say 300% of screens, the screens only stop one point of damage and everything goes through and probably devastates or destroys the ship. Could allow for lower damage for heavy weapons, but they would still be a one shot kill versus smaller warships. Makes larger warships more deadly against smaller warships.

Screen generator system that rebuilds screen strength between turns, only by one point per system, but if they all are destroyed, the screens are DOWN. This would replace and/or augment screen reactivation. You could have it that you get 1 screen reactivated per turn per screen generator and a bonus of two screens if the ship took no damage during the entire turn.

I have a love/hate relationship with directional screens, where each hex side has it's own screen value (from Star Fleet Battles). It makes maneuver very valuable, but does add to complexity. The existing rule for weaker rear screens does help to make maneuver valuable.


Tue Aug 13, 2013 5:02 am
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Post Re: rpg/tac rules?
In case anyone is interested in working on the Outsider tactical rules, StarFire 2ed. is available again as a digital download on WargameVault. I bought copies all three StarFire 2ed. products. They are NOT cheap scans like a lot of legacy rpg/wargame digital products. They are high quality .pdf's with hyperlinks!


Sat Jul 22, 2017 4:59 am
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