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Denver, Colorado, United States
I'm an old time roleplayer who became a soldier who became a veteran who became a developer who became a dba who became a manager who never gave up his dream of a better world. Even if I have to create it myself.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Space Combat House Rules, v2

After playing a little with the house rules posted previously, there's some problems I want to address. In no particular order:

  • Consistency & Complexity. Using different mechanics make everything harder to remember.
  • Gain the Advantage is still too slow and cumbersome, and almost no one used it, even my NPCs. RAW is even worse; mathematically it's always better to fire instead.
  • Faster speed doesn't matter enough. In order for risk/reward to matter in difficult terrain, there must be a definitive benefit to traveling at a higher speed. Otherwise the smart pilot just drops to speed 1 whenever possible.
  • The following should all matter in space combat: Speed, Handling, Silhouette, and Pilot skill. These are in addition to regular combat properties, like Armor, Defense, etc.

My new idea is to make Evasive Maneuvers and Stay on Target use Handling. Combat checks already include Silhouette, and I'll add a little dash of Speed in there to help cover that.

Pilot skill is always the hangup, and my solution is to bring Gain the Advantage back to an action, and then juice it up a bit to make it more appealing.

So, without further blabbery, here's version 2 of my house rules for Star Wars space combat in Edge of the Empire / Age of Rebellion.


Perform a Combat Check
Action

As per the core rulebooks, except that relative speed is also taken into account.

Increase the difficulty once if the target is moving 2 or more faster than the firing vessel. Likewise, decrease the difficulty once if the target is moving 2 or more slower than the firing vessel.

(Design note: it isn't a huge difference, but everything that helps speed will help make the choice on risk/reward in battlefield terrain more interesting.)



Gain the Advantage
Action
Pilot Only: Yes
Silhouette: 1-4 (both vessels involved)
Speed: 3+

This maneuver represents the constant, frantic give and take of a dogfight between small craft. To execute this maneuver, the pilot makes a Piloting check, with a base difficulty set by speed, as indicated in the core rulebooks.  This action can only be performed within Short range of the target.

If successful, the pilot may choose which of the target's defense zones is being targeted with attacks made by his own craft, and all such attacks are upgraded once. Furthermore, the pilot of a vessel with the Advantage can select which arc of the target his vessel is in, for purposes of attacks from that vessel.

The pilot retains the Advantage until one of the following:
  • The crafts are Medium range or farther apart from each other, indicating one or both craft have withdrawn from the fight.
  • The pilot breaks off, voluntarily relinquishing his Advantage as an incidental.
  • The target succeeds in a Gain the Advantage check on the pilot's vessel. The target's dice pool is formed normally and then increased in difficulty once. Each time the Advantage changes hands without being broken, the difficulty to perform this check increases once, with no upper limit on the difficulty.

Triumph or 3 advantage on this roll can be used to trigger an automatic weapon hit from one weapon, as if a single success had been rolled on the attack.

(Design note: ok, so GtA starts back at the RAW with some range clarifications. I've added in a defense feature, determining arc for the enemy, which makes sense in space combat based off of aerial dogfighting. I've also added in an attack component to help mitigate the opportunity cost, using a model similar to the Astromech bonus activities in the new Ace supplement. Also - I will likely rule that Adversary counts against this action.)



Evasive Maneuvers
Maneuver
Pilot Only: Yes
Silhouette: 1-4
Speed: 3+

Evasive Maneuvers reflects a pilot’s efforts to avoid incoming fire. Executing Evasive Maneuvers adds a number of setback dice to all attacks or Gain the Advantage checks made against the craft equal to the craft’s Handling, with a minimum of 1. This bonus lasts until the end of the pilot’s next turn.

All attacks or Gain the Advantage checks made by a craft performing this maneuver are increased in difficulty once.

(Design note: this effectively adds a craft's handling to its defense.)



Stay on Target
Maneuver
Pilot Only: Yes
Silhouette: 1-4
Speed: 3+
This reflects a pilot’s concentration and his ability to shut out combat related stresses and distractions to make sure a target is hit. All attacks or Gain the Advantage checks from the pilot's craft gain a number of bonus dice equal to the craft’s Handling, with a minimum of 1. This bonus lasts until the end of the pilot’s next turn.

All attacks or Gain the Advantage checks made against a craft performing this maneuver are decreased in difficulty once.

(Design note: this effectively adds a craft's handling to its offense.)



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