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[Fate] Using Tachyon Squadron’s engagement rules for races and chases

Ian_the_Skinny

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Validated User
I’ve been running a Star Wars campaign using the Tachyon Squadron rules for Fate. Today I ran a pod race, using TS’ ‘Engagement’ rules for dogfighting to simulate the racers jockeying for position. It worked beautifully.

In Tachyon Squadron, an aerial battle is abstracted to a ladder, representing comparative altitude/advantage. Combatants make a maneuver role to determine their position on said ladder. Perhaps the most brilliant part of the rules is that after each round of combat, everyone’s position degrades, so it becomes easier for characters at the bottom of the ladder to improve their position. It should be obvious how this is ideally suited to representing racers competing to lead the pack.

The rules also introduce ‘Swarm’ aspects, which have free GM invokes and are used to represent the background level of threat to the PCs from enemy mooks. These were easily repurposed to represent environmental hazards - dense foliage, rampaging sea monsters, etc.

The biggest change I made was to attacking. In dogfights, you can only shoot at units below you on the ladder. For the podrace, players could only shoot if they collected a Mario Cart-style ‘power-up’. I also allowed racers on the same level to ‘melee’ attack each other. (This may have been unbalanced, since characters were now using the same skill - ‘Pilot’ - for both attack and defense).

This worked a lot better than the time I used Fate’s ‘Contest’ rules to represent a chase.

Honestly, it was also easier to role play a chase over land than a dogfight in space, because it gave characters terrain to interact with.
 

HumAnnoyd

Registered User
Validated User
Nicely done. I love how versatile Fate can be. It is so freeing when I set up my sessions.
 

pstjmack

Registered User
Validated User
Liked the Tachyon Squadron rules too - in this case, for a Battlestar Galactica retread.

A lot of bookkeeping and rule checks needed, but very good at providing the abstract framework for a very tense and atmospheric dogfight.
 

Clark

Ensign 9th Class
Validated User
This thread makes me happy, thank you!

Yeah, Tachyon Squadron was basically made for something like BSG...
"This system must be able to do BSG/Star Wars" was one of my explicit design goals in making TS. :)
 

Ian_the_Skinny

Registered User
Validated User
This thread makes me happy, thank you!
Thank YOU for making such a fun game!

Actually, since you’re here, do you (or iago iago or devlin1 devlin1 ) have any advice for creating new space ships for the PCs? I know there’s a toolkit in development, but I want to give my players more options now😁.

Mainly I’m just planning to add/remove shield boxes, equipment slots, and stunts; and I’m wondering what the ratios between those elements should be. For example do 2 shields = 1 standard stunt?
 

Reef

Incredible!
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I’ve been running a Star Wars campaign using the Tachyon Squadron rules for Fate. Today I ran a pod race, using TS’ ‘Engagement’ rules for dogfighting to simulate the racers jockeying for position. It worked beautifully.

In Tachyon Squadron, an aerial battle is abstracted to a ladder, representing comparative altitude/advantage. Combatants make a maneuver role to determine their position on said ladder. Perhaps the most brilliant part of the rules is that after each round of combat, everyone’s position degrades, so it becomes easier for characters at the bottom of the ladder to improve their position. It should be obvious how this is ideally suited to representing racers competing to lead the pack.

The rules also introduce ‘Swarm’ aspects, which have free GM invokes and are used to represent the background level of threat to the PCs from enemy mooks. These were easily repurposed to represent environmental hazards - dense foliage, rampaging sea monsters, etc.

The biggest change I made was to attacking. In dogfights, you can only shoot at units below you on the ladder. For the podrace, players could only shoot if they collected a Mario Cart-style ‘power-up’. I also allowed racers on the same level to ‘melee’ attack each other. (This may have been unbalanced, since characters were now using the same skill - ‘Pilot’ - for both attack and defense).

This worked a lot better than the time I used Fate’s ‘Contest’ rules to represent a chase.

Honestly, it was also easier to role play a chase over land than a dogfight in space, because it gave characters terrain to interact with.
Slightly off-topic, but regarding you running Star Wars with Tachyon Squadron...are your players strictly snub-nose jockeys? Or do you have adventures outside of the cockpit? I absolutely love the Tachyon dogfight rules, and have thought about running Star Wars with it, but I was afraid that the reliance on specialized skills for the space scenes would detract from adventures away from their ships.
 

Jerry D. Grayson

Putting the f-u in FUN
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I really enjoy this game and how it handles space battles. we go really hard when we play this game and the system runs smoothly and the ships are expressed in such a cool and evocative way. It's easy to pars and it's fun to give the players a page worth of load-outs to choose from.

This is a very well crafted game and I envy the designers. Well done :)

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Ian_the_Skinny

Registered User
Validated User
are your players strictly snub-nose jockeys? Or do you have adventures outside of the cockpit? I absolutely love the Tachyon dogfight rules, and have thought about running Star Wars with it, but I was afraid that the reliance on specialized skills for the space scenes would detract from adventures away from their ships.
I wanted to capture the feel of the X-Wing novels about Rogue and Wraith Squadrons, were the characters are all pilots, but they do commando raids and spy stuff as well.

I got there by making the PCs members of a Tie Fighter squadron, and then putting them in a situation where they were on their own with no allies. They have a carrier ship, but it is understaffed, so the players have to do lots of things most pilots wouldn’t do. I wanted a mix of action scenes with both space battles and other things, and so far it’s been a pretty even split. We’ve had:
-An inter-fleet athletic competition (Contest)
-A battle with pirates (I wasn’t comfortable with the Engagement rules yet, so I actually ran this as a standard Conflict)
-A multi-sided mutiny that turned into a firefight (Conflict)
-Escorting their Cartier ship past the enemy (Engagement)
-Attempting to arrange a deal to trade for supplies, and the deal goes south and turns into a shootout (Conflict)
-Entering a pod race to impress a Hutt to bankroll them (modified Engagement).
 

Reef

Incredible!
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I wanted to capture the feel of the X-Wing novels about Rogue and Wraith Squadrons, were the characters are all pilots, but they do commando raids and spy stuff as well.

I got there by making the PCs members of a Tie Fighter squadron, and then putting them in a situation where they were on their own with no allies. They have a carrier ship, but it is understaffed, so the players have to do lots of things most pilots wouldn’t do. I wanted a mix of action scenes with both space battles and other things, and so far it’s been a pretty even split. We’ve had:
-An inter-fleet athletic competition (Contest)
-A battle with pirates (I wasn’t comfortable with the Engagement rules yet, so I actually ran this as a standard Conflict)
-A multi-sided mutiny that turned into a firefight (Conflict)
-Escorting their Cartier ship past the enemy (Engagement)
-Attempting to arrange a deal to trade for supplies, and the deal goes south and turns into a shootout (Conflict)
-Entering a pod race to impress a Hutt to bankroll them (modified Engagement).
Awesome, sounds like you’ve got a good thing going there!
 
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