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Ship Location Targetting
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bren wrote:
I assume that a 19km long ship would have an auxiliary bridge or 3. Had the ship not taken a nose dive into the Death Star II. I fully expect that command would have been routed to the auxiliary bridge which would have taken control. For whatever reason command was not rerouted fast enough to regain control and prevent total catastrophe.


I attribute that to two things:

1) "We need an excuse to blow up an ISD and crash it into the Death Star" (perhaps to covey the scale of the Death Star, or whatever... or just because there weren't enough 'splosions already).

2) We (the writers/technical crew/directors, etc) have no idea how a massive rig like an ISD would work in "real life" so we'll just treat it just like an airplane and when the main controls go out, it's crash and burn automatically, no chance of remedy.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bren wrote:
Naaman wrote:
Bren, I think your point #5 is what many people are assuming would be the solution for targeting individual components (the ship suffers no loss of functionality over all).
Many, probably most, but not all. In any case I think sometimes it's helpful to state the key assumptions.

Quote:
However, I think the emphasis that the OP is making is how to DESTROY a larger scale vessel by targeting a specific weak spot. This is generally what we see in the films and is what males for an epic space opera.
That's a fair point.

There are reasons why that wasn't, and isn't my focus, but if one does want to allow PCs to blow up capital ships using only a starfighter scale vessel here's the process I'd use.

1. The PCs need to figure out some weak point.
That may involve downloading plans, tactical analysis before or even during the battle, really good scans combined with tactics and/or technical ability to identify a weakness. Finding a weakness for a type of Imperial ships could be the goal for an entire adventure.

2a. The PCs must target that weak point.
Typically this should be like firing at the Death Star thermal exhaust port in ANH...i.e. its a heroic shot.

2b. Or destroying the target could be the result of trading off to-hit dice to add damage dice.
For example let's take a PC in an X-wing firing at a Corellian Corvette, +6D capital scale target bonus, +2D fire control, 6D starship gunnery, using a Force Point (doubles the 6D gunnery) gives a total of 21D for the to-hit roll. Trade off dice for to-hit for damage at a 2-1 ratio allows the gunner to make a to-hit roll with say 7D while trading off 14D to-hit for an extra 7D damage. Using a pair of proton torpedoes (9D damage with two paired torpedoes +1D based on combined fire damage bonus). The pilot rolls 9D+1D+7D = 17D damage vs. the Corellian Corvette which has Hull 4D, Shields 2D, +6D scale bonus.

Assuming the X-wing is able to maneuver to target an unshielded side the Corvette rolls 4D+6D = 10D to resist damage. The odds are quite high that the Corvette is toast.

Scaling up to a Star Destroyer in the same circumstances it resists damage with 7D+6D = 13D. That's a net -4D which means the likely effect is that the Star Destroyer is severely damaged.

If one wants PCs to be able to blow up large ships single handed, this method does the job handily. And if that seems too easy, make the odds of successfully targeting a capital ship more difficult by requiring the extra damage attack to target a specific area of the enemy ship. Use the penalties for called shots e.g. increase the difficulty by +1D/+4D/+8D as seems appropriate. If we pick the middle penalty that makes it unlikely that an ordinary PC can take out an Star Destroyer with one shot from an X-wing (though they have a good chance of lightly damaing it) while the Corvette is probably still toast.

Reasons I don't really see the need to enable PCs to blow up Star Destroyers or other large capital scale ships are as follows.
First most examples of single starfighter scale vessels destroying a larger scale vessel fall into one of two categories, neither of which applies in the general case of small ship vs. large ship.

1. There is an inherent weakness in the large vessel.
(i) Death Star exhaust port in ANH, (ii) Death Star power core in RotJ, and (iii) open and almost unguarded fighter bays with shields that are not coded to a vessel IFF as we see in TPM when pod racer Anakin fires a torpedo from inside the ship at something unprotected and explodey.

2. Low Probability Lucky Hits
The classic example is the A-wing that takes out the bridge of that superstardestroyer in RotJ. Note that this is an unintentional Kamikaze strike that kills the pilot. So probably not an appropriate PC tactic (and certainly it's a single-use tactic). I think there was a stardestroyer that was damaged or destroyed by a bridge tower hit by asteroids in the Hoth system. Note that this also seems to be a low probability, lucky hit.

The second reason I'm not that concerned is that I don't really want the PCs to blow up capital scale ships all by themselves in anything other than a really exceptional circumstance. That isn't something that we see in the original movies or in Rogue One (where the suicide run is not an A-wing vs a Super Star Destroyer, but a Corvette vs a regular Star Destroyer).


I agree: having a lone fighter take out an ISD should be a culminating event, not an everyday-at-the-office kind of thing.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bren wrote:
I assume that a 19km long ship would have an auxiliary bridge or 3. Had the ship not taken a nose dive into the Death Star II. I fully expect that command would have been routed to the auxiliary bridge which would have taken control. For whatever reason command was not rerouted fast enough to regain control and prevent total catastrophe.


IIRC that confusion came RIGHT after vader killed the emperor, so its understandable that they were unable to get the bridge controls switched before doom!!
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Much to grok...

It's worth noting that Lucas based SWU fighter combat on that of WWII fighters, so it is not unreasonable to base starfighter anti-ship tactics on WWII, as well. As such, I don't think it's reasonable to assume capital ships had no integral anti-starfighter defenses AT ALL. At the beginning of WWII, most warships had some form of anti-aircraft guns, but not in the numbers to counter the actual threat level. By the end of the war, front-line warships were bristling with anti-aircraft weaponry, easily with double or triple the numbers with which they would've been equipped at the start.

With that in mind, it's appropriate to equip capital ships with some anti-starfighter weaponry, just not a lot. WOTC equipped their ISDs witb 40 point defense laser cannon, so modifying the WEG stats to include 40 laser cannon (SF-scale, 2D/4D, 10 per fire arc) would provide what is best described as a token anti-starfighter defense. Even when combining against a single starfighter, laser cannon in that strength would be lucky to take down a front-line Alliance fighter like the X-Wing. Later ships like the Lancer would take the increased threat into account.

As far as ignoring scale on strafing runs, I would suggest limiting the damage to Lightly Damaged results or lower, as a ship can take any number of Lightly Damaged results without being destroyed (although the Lost Moves loophole does allow an attacked to circumvent this).

More to follow...
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the same theme, as far as WWII anti-ship tactics were concerned, it's important to understand why they used massed tactics. It wasn't just a combined barrage of bombs to increase damage; the idea was to throw as many bombs and torpedoes at a target as possible and hope they get lucky with a solid hit.

For instance, during the Battle of Midway, two squadrons of dive bombers (one of which was considered a Scouting Squadron) attacked the Kaga and Akagi. Doctrine stated that each squadron would engage a different carrier, but miscommunication caused the majority of the planes (over 30) to engage the Kaga, leaving only 3 to attack the Akagi. While the Kaga was bombarded with multiple bomb hits, leaving her a burning wreck, only one of bomb of three hit the Akagi. That one bomb, however, hit at just the wrong place and time to ultimately destroy the ship.

The two main types of anti-ship attacks in WWII were dive bombers and torpedo bombers. Dive bombers attacked in close sequence, each taking their own shot, one right after the other. Torpedo bombers, on the other hand, would fly in relatively close formation and launch their torpedoes on the same general bearing, in the hopes of bracketing the targeted ship and getting in one or more hits.

The main point I'm getting at here is that the RPG scenario of multiple fighters trying to hit the same point at the same time to inflict maximum damage doesn't really have a real-life counterpart. BUt then, this isn't the real world...
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So lets start with 3 of the common imperial ships.

Rendel star drive dreadnoughts
Carrack class light cruisers
Lonar assault cruisers..

What 'point defense' lasers would you give each of them?
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, that's not a simple question. The Carrack already has them (20 laser cannon, 5 per arc), and the 1E Dreadnought has both lasers and quad-lasers (which were both turned into turbolasers for 2E). Plus, we now have to take the prequels into account; WEG's assumption was that ships as far back as the Clone Wars didn't consider starfighters a major threat, yet the prequels turned that on its head, with massed waves of small, fragile starfighters.

So, there appears to have been a three stage doctrinal progression in capital ship anti-starfighter weaponry:
    -Late stage Clone Wars ships, with robust anti-starfighter defenses geared toward hard to hit but easy to damage droid starfighters.

    -First generation Imperial ships with "goaltender" weaponry, whose purpose is to engage any leakers that make it through the TIEs, which are the primary defenses.

    -Second generation Imperial ships with heavier dual- and quad-laser cannon to counter the tougher Alliance fighters.
For the first group, I'd equip it with blaster cannon, then single lasers for the second, and dual/quad lasers or even auto-blasters for the third. It's also reasonable to allow for upgrades, so Clone Wars era ships could start with blasters and be upgraded to laser cannon during the Imperial Era.

As far as the ships you mentioned, in the Classic Era, I'd give them all 20 laser cannon (5 per arc) @ 2D/4D.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Something just occurred to me:

For GMs who allow called shots in character scale encounters, how do you handle it? If a player says, "I shoot him in the face!" and, after accounting for the difficulty modifiers, the attack was successful, what do you do? Grant a bonus to damage? Impose a penalty on the soak roll? Increase the "damage result (for eample, from wounded to killed)?

This may give an idea for how to address the original question (and particularly, a mechanic by which it becomes possible--however improbable--for a fighter to destroy a capitol ship).
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Bren
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
If a player says, "I shoot him in the face!" and, after accounting for the difficulty modifiers, the attack was successful, what do you do? Grant a bonus to damage?
I don't recall a player ever doing that, but if one did, I'd grant a bonus for damage. One way to do that would be to use a variant of the Dice Pools rule for Optional Deadliness from the Specforce Handbook p. 57. So if the difficulty was increased by 4D then if the shot is made, damage is increased by 4D.

Usually I see targeting a location used to avoid armor by hitting where the armor isn't or to get some special effect like shooting the comlink out of the officer's hand so he can't sound an alarm. I use the optional rule that increases damage for exceeding the target number that is also from the SpecForces Hanbook. (+1 damage for each 5 points over the target number).
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was going to suggest the SpecForce rule, too.

It can be more or less deadly, depending on Character Points, as the CPs can offset the deadliness.

I've found the SpecForce rule is very effective in the 1E game where there are no CPs.

In a 2E game, I've had players use the SpecForce rule, then make up for the attack loss with CPs. You take 2D from your attack and increase damage by 2D if you hit, under the SpecForce rule. Then, you use two CPs on your attack to replace the 2D you lost.

Therefore, in a 2E game, you might want to make it an either/or proposition. If you use the SpecForce rule, then you cannot also use CPs.

Still, the target can use CPs--up to +5D--to defend himself, and that lessens the impact of the SpecForce rule.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
Something just occurred to me:

For GMs who allow called shots in character scale encounters, how do you handle it? If a player says, "I shoot him in the face!" and, after accounting for the difficulty modifiers, the attack was successful, what do you do? Grant a bonus to damage? Impose a penalty on the soak roll? Increase the "damage result (for eample, from wounded to killed)?

This may give an idea for how to address the original question (and particularly, a mechanic by which it becomes possible--however improbable--for a fighter to destroy a capitol ship).


That depends. A 'standard 'called shot" with no specifics behind that called shot gain +1d to damage if hits, BUT has a -5 penalty to your shot roll (or increases the difficulty to hit by 5).
Then you have 'Specific" called shots, that BTB are graded on how small they are going (20cm, all the way down to 4cm or so).. Like bypassing an imperial storm trooper's armor by sliding a dagger into the gap between his back piece and helmet.. Get it off, and you just hit him without worrying about his armor joining in his soak..
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I considered the spec force rule, but the +1/5 over is more of a retroactive thing. I suppose it could still apply, though.

The dice swapping thing is okay, but I don't like the congruency of it: it implies that all "weaknesses" on a capitol ship are equally vulnerable/protected.

On the other hand, as I think about it, a specific vulnerability should only be exploitable by someone who has "earned" the intel on the vulnerability: so it would be up to the GM to craft a story and make an adventure out of just getting the information as well as what that vulnerability is and how to express it within the D6 system.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem with the 1-for-1 method (whether pips or dice pool) is that it very quickly overcomes the scale modifiers. Any character with 6D to spare will be able to go head-to-head with all but the largest capital ships.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Then limit the bonus they can get, to what the weapon itself is capable of.. If they say are shooting a 4d blaster pistol, the MOST they can get extra from that 'die pooling method' IS 4d more..
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Bren
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
The problem with the 1-for-1 method (whether pips or dice pool) is that it very quickly overcomes the scale modifiers. Any character with 6D to spare will be able to go head-to-head with all but the largest capital ships.
1-for-1 seems like too much damage to me. I prefer 1/5 for unaimed shots and trading 2D of skill for +1D of extra damage. Which averages out to 1/2 for aimed shots.

I also like (and have used) garhkal's idea of capping damage at twice the weapon damage. While I can see that there might be (in theory*) a way for a holdout blaster to take out a repulsortank I don't think having that happen fits the tone of a game setting I want to run or play in.


* If, for example, the holdout blaster shot is fired directly down a lunch tube and hits a missile just as it is being fired causing it to detonate and blow up the tank. And yeah I know that sensible arms designers would have the missile wait to arm until it is some safe distance from the launcher and I know that they would want to use a triggering method that wasn't prone to being easily set off by a stray blaster shot. But remember these are the same groups of designers that left railings off the bottomless pits and didn't put any baffles over their thermo exhaust ports.
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