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Starfighter Squadrons as Capital Ship Stats
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 1:16 am    Post subject: Starfighter Squadrons as Capital Ship Stats Reply with quote

So, one of my on-again-off-again projects is a system that allows characters to command capital ships in combat. Right now, the core concept is allowing a capital ship captain to either command a ship as if it were an extension of himself, with the crew serving as his interface to control his ship, or to treat the ship like a space transport writ large, with the various PCs serving as ship's officers (helm, guns, engineering, shields, etc.) This got me wondering if the same could be applied to starfighters, with a single character acting as a squadron commander, and operating it as a single unit in combat. What I'm considering is treating a starfighter squadron as a capital ship for stat purposes, with things like Maneuverability and Hull+Shields used just as if the unit were a single ship.

My initial thought is to simply use the stat numbers from individual starfighters, but converted to Frigate-Scale (+4D over Starfighter). The main difficulty would be how to track damage, since damage to a squadron of starfighters would constitute losing individual ships, thus reducing overall combat power, but potentially gaining some of them back after battle (due to a ship being damaged, but repairable).

Mostly I'm looking for a discussion to flesh out the idea. Thoughts?
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Zarn
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As the squadron diminishes, why not reduce its "size"? You start out at one given level, then as your ships get disabled, its size goes down. Then, some weapons can allow you to "punch above your weight", such as a massed salvo of proton torpedoes or what have you.

Also, you might want to track some semblance of chain of command - perhaps it is possible to knock out the squadron commander early, forcing the squadron to split up (basically, an ineffective or disabled squadron commander can't use Command to keep unit cohesion). For instance, every time the squadron gets resized, there's a damage test that the squadron commander needs to pass or he gets taken out of the fight.
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And damage might not represent lost fighters; damage might represent less effective fighters.

How big of a squadron are we talking about?
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You'll also need to resolve scale modifier application. The squadron might lose the dodge bonus, but should retain the attack bonus.
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
You'll also need to resolve scale modifier application. The squadron might lose the dodge bonus, but should retain the attack bonus.


I'm not so sure about that. If you're improving their size, one assumes that also applies to damage. So, it's not a matter of them being able to get off a shot, but enough of them being able to make the shot that you do Frigate-scale damage with your Stunt-fighter scale weapons.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point.
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, how many starfighters do you need to upgrade to Death-Star Scale damage? Wink
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think, so long as we're just dealing with the standard SWU squadron (12 fighters), the 2R&E Scale rules can be used here; specifically, +1D for every 3 fighters coordinating, plus 1 per each additional starfighter. Using that rule, a squadron of 12 fighters receives a +4D bonus (4 groups of 3 starfighters being coordinated).

So, for every lost starfighter (either destroyed or mission-killed) the bonus is reduced by 1 pip.

It's also possible that the squadron could shift its formation to fit its mission, which in turn affects its bonus. For instance, the full bonus could represent a squadron packed into a tight formation with overlapping shields making an attack run for a coordinated torpedo strike, whereas a dispersed formation of A-Wings or Interceptors on a superiority sweep could split the bonus between Maneuverability and Damage, optimized for attacking other starfighters...
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CRMcNeill
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Location: Redding System, California Sector, on the I-5 Hyperspace Route.

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrNexx wrote:
So, how many starfighters do you need to upgrade to Death-Star Scale damage? Wink

Well, it depends on which scaling method you use. My argument against the 2R&E Scaling method has always been that it works well enough with small numbers, but skews badly out of proportion as the numbers increase. If you figure the difference in damage between the Death Star superlaser and, say, a starfighter's proton torpedo launcher, then you're looking at a difference of 26D. Using the 2R&E method of +1D for every 3 starfighters, a max-power shot from the Death Star could be equalled by just 78 starfighters firing a single proton torpedo in coordinated fashion.

The 2E method, on the other hand, truncates at a bonus of +15D for 1,500 units successfully coordinated, with no clear guidelines as to how to extend the formula beyond the limits of the chart.

If you're using a house rule method (I prefer the x2 = +1D method), it would take 67,108,864 starfighters (2 to the 26th power), or 33,554,432 if they all fired double-linked torpedoes.

I know which one I find more plausible.
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shootingwomprats
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like you guys got to what I was going to suggest before I could post.

I was going to suggest that combining actions could upgrade scale by one category.

So how many whatever need to combine to up the scale? If we use the Battle of Scarif from Rogue One as our model, a group of group of five Y-wings shooting 2 ion torpedoes each, doing enough damage to take a Imperial-I Star Destroyer out of commission.

Quote:
"Persecutor" Imperial I-class Star Destroyer, subjected to an attack run by Blue Four (Barion Raner), destroyed the starboard-side bridge-mounted deflector shield generator. This was followed up by a bombing run of ion torpedoes from the Y-wings of Gold Squadron.

Until Rogue One, ion torpedos have only appeared in the games "The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance", "Star Wars: The Old Republic: Galactic Starfighter", and "Young Jedi Knights: Jedi Bounty". To my knowledge they have not been given D6 stats, not even GG15: The Old Republic.

I would suggest that ion torpedoes do 7D ionization damage, equal to the hull of the ISD-1.

From what we see onscreen I would say the "Persecutor" suffered "controls dead" which is an ionization damage of 16+. Also remember that shields do not offer protection from ionization damage.

What we have to emulate then, is five Y-wings:

1. Upgrading from starfighter to capital scale
2. Doing damage of 16+ in excess of an ISD-1's hull roll.

An average hull roll for an ISD-1 is 23.5, rounded up to 24. This means a damage value of 40+. This seems a pretty high benchmark since a combined action only adds +1 pip per extra person.

This brings up two questions:

1. How many starfighters does it take to upgrade scale?
2. How much damage does an ion torpedo do?

Other consdiderations:

1. Was at least one of the pilots a hero and spent a Force Point to double damage? Something typically considered a dark side use, but since its not killing and because they are the good guys, should probably get a pass and be considered a heroic use of a Force Point.
2. Did the damage pool wild die explode several times?
3. Did the "Persecutor" roll bad for Hull?
4. Did the coordinating pilot roll a spectacular success, either deciding to 1. increase to scale damage, and/or 2. increasing the damage done?

Since we have five Y-wings attacking, we could extrapolate that it takes four or more starfighters to move the scale of damage up one instead of giving extra damage. I would suggest it takes four coordinating starfighters as this would give the coordinating pilot a +1D modifier, which could be traded in to move the scale from starfighter to capital.

In the case of the Battle of Scarif, there are five Y-wings, four of which are coordinating to increase scale, leaving one Y-wing giving a +1 pip modifier to the damage.

All if this so far makes sense to me, except the damage, which might need to be increased to 9D, putting it on the same level as a proton torpedo.

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CRMcNeill
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Location: Redding System, California Sector, on the I-5 Hyperspace Route.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Starfighter Unit Sizes:
    Element (2 fighters) = +1D
    Section (3 fighters) = +1D+2
    Flight (4 fighters) = +2D
    Squadron (12 fighters) = +3D

    The Unit Strength Modifier is added to the Scale listed on the stat for the type of Starfighter that makes up the Unit. For example, a Section of TIE Interceptors (3 ships) has a Scale of +7D+2, while a squadron of Y-Wings (12 ships) has a Scale of +9D.

    For the purposes of this rule, a squadron is considered a single target for Gunnery purposes, and Damage inflicted results in lost squadron strength.

Unit Damage Chart:
    0-3 Disrupted = -1D to all actions that round)
    4-8 Light Losses = -1D to Unit Strength
    9-12 Heavy Losses = -2D to Unit Strength
    13-15 Severe Losses = -3D to Unit Strength
    16+ Catastrophic Losses = -4D to Unit Strength

    Any Unit reduced to 0D is Combat Ineffective, but may return to base and Recover (see below)

    Any unit reduced to -1D is Wiped Out, with all units either killed or damaged too badly to return to battle.


Recovery
A Unit that takes losses on the Unit Damage Chart may return to its mothership or home base and Recover, making quick repairs, reloading and rearming, bringing up reserve fighters from deep storage, and so on. As a rule, most bases will have 1D of Recovery available for every squadron they carry (in addition to the full Squadron's 3D Strength if the entire unit has not been committed). Some may have more or less, at the GM's discretion. Recovery takes 1D rounds, during which the Fighter Unit can not be used. Once a ship or base's Reserves are exhausted, Fighter Units can not be replenished during the battle.

Formation
Fighter units work best as a coordinated team, and are trained to operate in a variety of formations based on how the unit is being used. For the purposes of this rule, however, only two formations are used:

    Attack Formation
    The unit is grouped together as tightly as possible, sacrificing Maneuverability for mutual protection and fire coordination. Note: Some fighters are equipped with defensive weaponry mounted in turrets. If this is the case, the defensive cannon may reduce their Scale by the Unit Strength modifier-1D to defend against attacking starfighter units. For example, a squadron of Y-Wings is treated like a single Y-Wing with a Scale of +9D. However, while in Attack Formation, its ion cannon are used defensively to hold off enemy fighters, and are reduced to a Scale of +7D (+3D-1D = -2D).

    Patrol Formation
    The Unit's individual fighters are in a loose clump, widely separated to allow for maneuvering, but close enough to cooperate. This unit is formation is used primarily against enemy starfighters, either attacking an enemy unit defending its base or vice versa. For game purposes, a Unit in Patrol Formation receives a -2D modifier to Scale (to a minimum of +1D) for Gunnery purposes, but still tracks Damage against the full Unit Strength modifier. For example, a Squadron (12 ships = +3D) of X-Wings has a Scale equivalent of +9D. However, the squadron commander orders his ships into Patrol Formation, which reduces the Scale equivalent to +7D. However, if the squadron engages in combat with a unit of TIE Fighters, any Damage inflicted on the Squadron is resolved against the +3D modifier, not +1D.

How to Use:
Just take the stat of a single starfighter and apply the Unit Strength modifier to its Scale. Resolve combat as you would a one-on-one duel between the two types of fighters, but tracking Damage against the Unit Strength Modifier instead of against ship systems.

For some variety, apply the following modifiers for Crew Quality to the Crew Skills:

    Rookie = -1D
    Regular = +0D
    Veteran = +1D
    Elite = +2D
    Hand-Picked Elite = +3D (Rogue Squadron or the 181st)

_________________
"No set of rules can cover every situation. It's expected that you will make up new rules to suit the needs of your game." - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game, 2R&E, pg. 69, WEG, 1996.

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