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PC ship vs Star Destroyer
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 1:32 pm    Post subject: PC ship vs Star Destroyer Reply with quote

I'm curious how other GMs handle this.

You've got a situation similar to that on Tatooine shown in ANH. The players' ship is blasting off from the planet, on the run from the Imperials, and they come too close to a Star Destroyer in orbit around the planet before the PCs can make the jump to hyperspace.

The Star Destroyer begins to fire upon the PC vessel.

How do you handle the attacks?




If you are playing First Edition, then you aren't given firing arcs. 1E stats of the Imperial Star Destroyer says you've got 60 turbo laser batteries that all fire separately.

How do you decide how many batteries to bring to bear on the fleeing PC ship?




If you are playing Second Edition, then you have firing arcs, and you can determine which firing arc targets the players' ship. The Imperial Star Destroyer has those same 60 turbo laser batteries, but 20 fire into the right arc, 20 into the left arc, and 20 into the front arc.

The question becomes, do you, as GM, make 20 attacks per round on the players' ship?

Or, do you fire a lower number of batteries?

Or, do you combine fire under the Command skill?



Just looking to see how different GMs would handle this situation.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Honestly, this seems like a "rail road" portion of the story.

If they just "happened" upon a star destroyer, that reaks of GM fiat to me. In which case, its time to start rolling dice and pretending to count them.

If you are combining fire, that's potentially a +59 to your roll, so, even if they spend a force point, its plausible they could still be shot down/captured.

Otherwise, be ready for some hair-brained seat of the pants action to result in 4 or 5 PCs taking out thousands of imperial troops, high ranking officers and bagillions of creds worth of euipment.

It'll be something stupid, to, like launching an escape pod into the bridge, being inspired by the kamakazi A-wing in ANH.
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't attack the example. That's just a framing device and better than saying, "However it is that your PCs come close to a Star Destroyer, how would you handle the SD attacks on the PC vessel?"

The GameMastering question isn't about railroading--it's about how a GM would use and SD to attack a PC ship (as shown in several Star Wars movies). Assume that the SD and PC ship got close enough for the SD to fire upon it in however manner it makes sense to you.
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evilnerf
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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I see a couple solutions. First, have the star destroyer just outside of range and just have the players have to deal with starlighters. Second, decide that for some reason, the Star Destroyer captain wants the crew alive. I can't think of any situation where an over confident imperial captain wouldn't want to interrogate the players to find yet more enemies of the Empire. Third, you can use star destroyers fire not as an attack, but as an obstacle. Make the players roll piloting to avoid fire. If they fail the piloting roll, they take damage. You can really make this fun by describing in detail how the players ships juke around and befuddle the imperial gunners.
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I didn't write my question clearly enough. Confused

What I'm trying to find out is how GMs handle the actual attacks.

Do you, as a GM, roll 20 attack rolls?

Do you use the combined fire rule?

Do you use some method of determining how many batteries can fire in a round, if less than the full amount on that firing arc?
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cheshire
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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It really depends on the situation. But most often when I've had PCs tangle with large scale capital ships with batteries of turbolasers, I generally handle it with just a few die rolls. It would seriously bog down the game to do so many separate rolls. I will only make a few attacks per round.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 4:55 pm    Post subject: Re: PC ship vs Star Destroyer Reply with quote

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:

If you are playing First Edition, then you aren't given firing arcs. 1E stats of the Imperial Star Destroyer says you've got 60 turbo laser batteries that all fire separately.

How do you decide how many batteries to bring to bear on the fleeing PC ship?


In 1e games, we started at 2 guns, then 4, then 8, then combined 8, then combined 16.. The longer the engagement went, the more guns got brought to bear..

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:

If you are playing Second Edition, then you have firing arcs, and you can determine which firing arc targets the players' ship. The Imperial Star Destroyer has those same 60 turbo laser batteries, but 20 fire into the right arc, 20 into the left arc, and 20 into the front arc.

The question becomes, do you, as GM, make 20 attacks per round on the players' ship?


Nope. Like in 1e, it would start with 2 guns, then 4, then 8, then 8 commanded.. Or if the PC's were well known for their 'antics' them it might start at 4 guns commanded from the get go.
Alternate, it might also depend on the Imps orders. Are they there to stop and capture the PC's ship, then its ion cannons only.
Are they under a shoot to destroy order?

Namman wrote:
Honestly, this seems like a "rail road" portion of the story.

If they just "happened" upon a star destroyer, that reaks of GM fiat to me. In which case, its time to start rolling dice and pretending to count them.


Not really namman. I've had several modules for our sparks groups (and even some of the WEG modules, that have a cap ship in orbit, and the pc's have to survive X number of rounds under the BIG boy's guns before geting the chance to make an astrogation roll to jump into hyperspace..

evilnerf wrote:
Well I see a couple solutions. First, have the star destroyer just outside of range and just have the players have to deal with starlighters. Second, decide that for some reason, the Star Destroyer captain wants the crew alive. I can't think of any situation where an over confident imperial captain wouldn't want to interrogate the players to find yet more enemies of the Empire. Third, you can use star destroyers fire not as an attack, but as an obstacle. Make the players roll piloting to avoid fire. If they fail the piloting roll, they take damage. You can really make this fun by describing in detail how the players ships juke around and befuddle the imperial gunners.


I've done that before. Have the enemy gunners set up the "Maneuvering diff for the PC's to fly through the guns. If they miss it by say 1-5, then they take one gun's worth of damage (NO scale mods added though. 6-10, they take 3 guns worth (no scale mods added). 11-15, then 1 gun with scale mods added in..
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 5:44 pm    Post subject: Re: PC ship vs Star Destroyer Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
In 1e games, we started at 2 guns, then 4, then 8, then combined 8, then combined 16.. The longer the engagement went, the more guns got brought to bear..


That's actually pretty interesting.

I guess you could, in this vein, keep rolling until a miss happens to simulate the sensor lock by the star destroyer.

One attack, and if it misses, that's it for the combat round. Six seconds.

If it hits, keep on rolling until an attack misses (or until every battery from the fire arc has fired, if the target is not destroyed).

That would still keep SDs pretty damn scary to PCs.
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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IIRC, the description for stat blocks in the 2R&E book notes that, for gaming purposes, capital ships don't have to roll Command to coordinate the actions of the crew, as one person is assumed to be in charge and making all the decisions. The implication here is that individual capital ships are not subject to Command rolls in order to coordinate weapons fire. From that point, it's just a matter of which coordination bonus system you use.
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evilnerf
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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh. Sorry I misunderstood the question! I've never actually used a star destroyer in ship to ship combat, but I think I'd use combined fire to link them in 3 groups of 6, adding adding 1D to attack and 1D to damage, and then assume the remainder just aren't ready or can't be turned to face the vessel or whatever.
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, in the OT and TFA, blasts are continually coming from the SDs but not at a rate of something like 20 attacks per round. I'm thinking of the first scene in ANH and the escape of the Falcon from Tatooine.

Game-wise, there really is no reason for the GM not to make 20 attacks.

Is there any in-game reasoning that all 20 attacks aren't made, if, indeed, the SD captain is trying to destroy his target?



In the first scene of ANH, they're trying to capture the Tantive IV, not destroy it. So, maybe that's why the full brunt of the SD's firepower wasn't used.

Maybe the same could be said for the Falcon when it left Mos Eisley.

And, I guess the same could be said for the Finalizer as Poe/Finn zoom away in TFA.




In the opening scene of RotS, I think we see a much larger fire rate coming from those capital ships.
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This thread has actually been helpful to me.

I would say that, when a GM is firing the SD's weapons, he needs to think like the captain of the vessel. What are the goals with regards to the target vessel?

If it is, indeed, to just destroy the target, then use every weapon at the SD's command to get that job done. Fire every weapon that can be brought to bear. If playing 1E, it's for the GM to decide how many weapons can be fired at the target ship.

If playing 2E, then the ship's stats provide fire arcs.



Do you want to combine fire? Sure, if you are having trouble hitting your target. Or, if you are not damaging your target fast enough.

The Captain of a SD has control on how easy the target is to hit, and how much damage will be applied, by his decision on the combined fire rule.

If the target vessel is some distance away to where the attacks are not likely to hit, then combine fire until the attack bonus makes the ship likely to be hit.

And, if its a race to disable the ship before it enters hyperspace, then combining fire will increase damage and give the SD a better chance of knocking out the target's hyperdrive (if the tractors can't be used).

In sum, it's all for the Captain to decide how best to use his equipment--and part of that decision is the goal of destroying or capturing the target vessel.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 1:37 am    Post subject: Re: PC ship vs Star Destroyer Reply with quote

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:

If it hits, keep on rolling until an attack misses (or until every battery from the fire arc has fired, if the target is not destroyed).

That would still keep SDs pretty d*mn scary to PCs.


And even a hit isn't immediately fatal..
Using the ISD as a base, we have 5d for the dam of the turbos. 11d after adding in the scale bonus.
Several freighters can have 5d or even 6d (like the L-19) for hull, and even 3d of potential shields.

So that's 11d vs 8 or possibly even 9d for the PC's hull. So a hit, ON the average does either 7 points of follow through damage (meaning light damage), or 10.5 (meaning heavy damage)..

Quote:
In sum, it's all for the Captain to decide how best to use his equipment--and part of that decision is the goal of destroying or capturing the target vessel.


And that's why when i write space combat scenes with big guns available, i do write in what the "imps goals are'.

Like in one of my modules, a pair of lancers are in orbit of a planet, and THEIR listed goals are to prevent the party getting to the planet. BUT if the party does some how make it into atmosphere, "Break off and let the ground boys deal with these interlopers"

Another module i've wrote, the goal of the big guns on the system patrol craft along with the fighters is to damage the pc's ship enough its FORCED to crash on the planet..

Now admittedly a third, has it wrote "if combat's engaged the imperial ships and space dock will shoot with extreme prejudice" meaning shoot to kill!.
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, this is when a full dodge comes in handy, and why you want a separate astrogator from your pilot.

"I am being shot at by a s*** of turbolasers" is when you want to push the TN to hit you out of the park, and you can't do that if you're also trying to calculate the coordinates of a jump to hyperspace.
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Technically if they are doing a full dodge though, they shouldn't be gaining ground on the imp ship (or getting closer to the jump point), since they can't "Move"...
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