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Ship Location Targetting
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Raven Redstar
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was responding to CRM's.

I'm not talking about ignoring the total scale all the time for all shots, just for shooting individual subsystems. If a fighter is shooting a single weapon emplacement. Making a shot on the Engine Ports. Shooting a shield generator. Ignore scale. That's what the original topic is about, no?
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes. Heck, Anakin knocked out the shields on Dooku's ship with a casual shot from the starfighter scale weapons.

He also took out the federation control ship with a serendipitous shot from a starfighter.

And, Lando.... of all people, taking out the death star....? He's like.... that ally NPC who is just a level or two lower than the PCs.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
But "credible threat" shouldn't make it easy (which is what ignoring scale modifiers would make it).


Exactly.. The whole time in the Xwing novels and such, the only reason Xwings WERE a threat to bigger ships was cause of combining fire with torpedos.. NOT cause they were 'able to skim the surface shooting up things at their own scale'..

Quote:
Retaining scale modifiers makes it impossible for all practical purposes. Remember: we are talking about PCs here: characters on the same plane as Luke, Obi-Wan, Han, Padme, etc.


And that's where we have a disconnect Namman... PCs are NOT on the same plane starting out as the heroes of the films..
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Alastor04
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My original post was because I was trying to reconcile the scale rules with more recent scenes of starfighter vs. capital ship. I have decided what I will do is take the optional rule where you can subtract die from your skill roll and add to damage. So for example if you have 6D in Starship Gunnery you could commit all of them to damage to negate the scale difference. You have to have the die in that skill to commit though.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
CRMcNeill wrote:
But "credible threat" shouldn't make it easy (which is what ignoring scale modifiers would make it).


Exactly.. The whole time in the Xwing novels and such, the only reason Xwings WERE a threat to bigger ships was cause of combining fire with torpedos.. NOT cause they were 'able to skim the surface shooting up things at their own scale'..

Quote:
Retaining scale modifiers makes it impossible for all practical purposes. Remember: we are talking about PCs here: characters on the same plane as Luke, Obi-Wan, Han, Padme, etc.


And that's where we have a disconnect Namman... PCs are NOT on the same plane starting out as the heroes of the films..


Who said anything about "starting out"? And for that matter, by the end of the first film, Luke takes out THE DEATH STAR (+18D scale difference) with a SINGLE attack roll (no combined fire).

Also, it seems you ignored the main point of that post.
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Raven Redstar
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alastor04 wrote:
My original post was because I was trying to reconcile the scale rules with more recent scenes of starfighter vs. capital ship. I have decided what I will do is take the optional rule where you can subtract die from your skill roll and add to damage. So for example if you have 6D in Starship Gunnery you could commit all of them to damage to negate the scale difference. You have to have the die in that skill to commit though.


Which edition are you using Alastor?

The reason I ask, is because the lower scale gets an extra 6D to perform the shot, so by your reasoning, the character could sacrifice his scale bonus to negate the target's scale bonus for soak.
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Alastor04
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't quite decided for sure between 1st or 2nd R&E yet. The die committed to damage must come from your skill not the scale bonus. So yes someone with 6D could completely negate the scale modifier to damage resistance but I am requiring that they have trained that skill to 6D.
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Bren
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with what a lot of folks have written. I think there are five key points to how I think this should be handled.

1. An attacking starfighter scale vessel first needs to close on the larger scale ship before it can perform a strafing run.
In general I think the closing process is best treated as maneuvering versus a terrain difficulty based on the volume of fire devoted to anti-starfighter defense. If I was currently running a starfighter squadron campaign I’d come up with specific rules. For now where the PCs have a single ship (a modified yacht) I don’t really need specific rules as ad hoc rulings will suffice once the PCs want to attempt a strafing run.

2. The target’s shield strength must be neutralized.
For strafing runs to be a viable tactic the target ship cannot resist with capital scale (or larger scale) shields.

Two solutions occur to me. The first solution is to bring down the shields before the strafing run commences. We see this done in the X-wing novels by massed volleys of proton torpedoes. That seems like it should be a viable strategy. This would use combined actions to increase the damage of the torpedo volley. We already have rules for combined actions. (I use a simpler house rule for combined actions where each doubling adds +1D either to the attack roll or to the damage.)

The second solution is for the attacking ships to fly inside or beneath the target’s shields. We see this on the Death Star attacks in A New Hope, both in the trench run, but also when we see starfighters target and destroy individual laser cannon or turbolaser cannon turrets. Clearly this weapons cannot be resisting damage with the scale modifier of the Death Star. Thus I presume that the ships are beneath the Death Star shields so that the shield strength and its massive scale modifier do not apply. Flying in close proximity to the hull seems like it would be a difficult (at best) piloting maneuver. The actual roll for this is covered in #3 below.

3. Once the ship has successfully closed it performs a strafing run.
Typically this requires maneuvering close to the larger ship’s surface or otherwise lining up a shot on a single weapon or subsystem. This probably will require a maneuver roll for the same round the shot is made.

(Should it ever matter, for a 2 scale difference, e.g. starfighters making a Death Star trench run I’d allow the pilot to make a maneuvering roll the round before the shot so that the only action the round of the shot is a gunnery roll. I think that’s what we see Luke do in the movie. He doesn’t seem to be maneuvering other than to line up his shot.)

4. The shot is made.
The weapon or subsystem is treated as one scale lower both for the to-hit roll (which makes the to-hit roll more difficult since the gunner loses the scale bonus to hit) and for the Damage Resistance roll for the target system (which makes the subsystem easier to damage).

For the subsystem Damage Resistance I’d use the ship’s hull as a base number (so a Corellian Corvette would be 4D while an Imperial Star Destroyer would be 7D).

If the system seems like it would be especially fragile (shield generators seem to blow up quite nicely in the films) subtract 2D from the resistance. If the system seems like it would be especially tough (hull plating might be a good example of tough) add 2D to the resistance. But in general simply using the ship’s hull should be sufficient.

5. Damage to individual systems does not damage the ship’s overall hull.
So while a determined attack by many starfighters could destroy every weapon system and every single engine on a Imperial Star Destroyer doing so won’t destroy the Star Destroyer though it would certainly cripple it. To destroy the ship the hull needs to be targeted directly and the hull will resist with the full
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Bren
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How does a Capital Ship defend against strafing by starfighters?

1. Prevent starfighters from closing.
One method is a vigorous anti-starfighter volume of fire from the capital ship or ships that destroys or turns away starfighters before they can close.

A second method is defending starfighters. A starfighter lining up for a strafing run is either an easy target if out there in empty space or a very busy pilot who is making the difficult run along the hull of a ship. So defenders can try to destroy enemy starfighters before they can complete their strafing run. It might be fair to give defensive starfighters an advantage on initiative.

2. Prevent starfighters from volley firing torpedos.
Since a primary method for starfighters to bring down the target vessel's shields is a volley of torpedos preventing that will allow the shields to remain in place which will either prevent a strafing run or will force the attacking ships to make the more difficult maneuvers beneath the shields and next to the target vessel's hull.

The same two defensive tactics work here and for similar reasons. For a squadron of starfighters to volley torpedoes they will typically be in fairly close proximity and will need to fly a similar course and will need to not all start dodging in random directions (since that should cause them to lose targeting locks). This may allow the target to concentrate its fire on the squadron of starfighters. (Perhaps negating part or all of the starfighter's scale bonus for their defense.)

Similarly, defending starfighters now have a bunch of starfighters who need to choose whether they are going to maintain their torpedo lock or dodge incoming fighters. So an attack by defending starfighters will often break up the volley.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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).

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.
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Bren
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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).
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the discussion that is stemming.

I do feel like when I used the term "credible threat" that it meant that a Starfighter could sink a capital ship with little effort. I see it more like a fighter being able to cause enough damage for it not to be cost effective to just let them buzz around you like a fly. A large animal can still be stung enough by wasps to the point where it's hurt, but maybe not necessarily killed.

Each weapon emplacement that is destroyed by a fighter strike can't be used against larger threats, and it takes time and resources to replace each gun that is destroyed. The same can be said for shield generators, sensor dishes, communication relays, engines or engine ports, and finally even a large ship can be crippled by the destruction of its bridge.

Enough stings and even a large creature becomes crippled and defenseless.

Let's say for instance a squadron of X-Wing Aces are harassing an ISD. The ship's captain decides that because the ships are small snub fighters, he decides to ignore them and not dispatch his own fighters. They fly in close, getting inside the ray shields, they combine fire with torpedoes on the engine ports and cause a feedback leaving the ISD dead in space, unable to escape. The next turn, they split up, avoiding turbolaser fire while they take out shield generators, communications, and sensors. The TIE Pilots are dispatched to their fighters, but, by the time they reach their ships to repel the X-Wings, the rebels have sent a series of proton torpedoes into the hanger bays, wrecking any chance of sending anything to fight back.

Now, the fighters can take their time, shooting turbolaser turrets unmolested until their capital ship shows up to sink the destroyer.
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Bren
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raven Redstar wrote:
I see it more like a fighter being able to cause enough damage for it not to be cost effective to just let them buzz around you like a fly. A large animal can still be stung enough by wasps to the point where it's hurt, but maybe not necessarily killed.
That's exactly the effect I want. I don't need the PCs to destroy Star Destroyers, but I do need reasons for the Star Destroyer not to ignore a dozen starfighters...or even just one PC souped up space transport. And I need a way of quantifying and describing what kinds of damage that PC ship can do.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
That's exactly the effect I want. I don't need the PCs to destroy Star Destroyers, but I do need reasons for the Star Destroyer not to ignore a dozen starfighters...or even just one PC souped up space transport. And I need a way of quantifying and describing what kinds of damage that PC ship can do.


Well, that's why a destroyed damage level on a called shot on a subsystem simply destroys/disables that subsystem until it can be repaired, or more likely replaced.

Engine ports can probably be repaired. A destroyed weapon emplacement, or Sensor Dish would not be able to be used until the unit or system was replaced.

Taking your example of the A-Wing crashing into the ISD's bridge, it's more likely that if the ship hadn't crashed into the Death Star, the crew largely would have survived, but the ship would have just been unable to do much of anything.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.
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