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[FFG Star Wars] Tweaking Space Combat

Quantum Bob

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Oh, another thing I'd fix. Currently, you can fix critical hits easily but hull point damage costs a huge amount of money to repair. I don't think this works well with the system and genre, since it's not really one where you can do anything about being shot occasionally, and I don't think it's fun. I'd suggest dropping hull repair costs entirely and assuming a ship can get about 15 hull points worth of repair per day (like stim packs amount to). Maybe a tiny cost for those repair kits, but make it fast and simple and cheap.
We went with 500 Creds per repair attempt, and every repair attempt uses the rules for damage control. So you roll and can add automatic points from a talent (can't recall the name of the talent).
 

wilsch

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I removed Speed (thanks, Whafrog!), rearranged maneuvers and actions to be clearer, made attacks separate, allowed System Strain to be used for damage mitigation, connected actions to skills and added a few to round out player interests, and tweaked things to generally make them faithful to the dice concept or actually fit on a page.

PDF is here. My players aren't so super-tactical to have shaken out all bugs, and I see a few eccentric things that I'll probably let go of, but we've used these rules a few times and it's worked. Simming with a spreadsheet, heroes' fighters will still need a few more HT and SS points.

I may run an accelerated rewrite for this as I've done for personal combat. Star Wars and my table generally don't care if this laser or armor plate is 1 point better; it's broad strokes that matter more in the genre, and by cutting weapon damage and Soak/Armor, you can model with Boosts and Setbacks and have it all right there.

Anyway. You can tell what I occupy my mind with. Caveat: my group uses custom talents to make houseruling easy.
 

Riggswolfe

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In the thread about the state of FFG's Star Wars game, the space combat system was brought up a few times as a weak point--in particular, the fragility of small spaceships, regardless of how heroic the pilots are.

I'm curious if people have more details on their problems, and some ideas for fixes?
The big issue is the game does a terrible job in modeling the heroic space pilot like Han Solo, Poe Dameron, Wedge Antilles, etc.

Piloting skill doesn't seem to make you much more survivable than your average minion. There aren't any really "active" ways to increase your survivability by much. You can add some blacks and such to your enemies attack rolls but it's all fairly minor.

Take WEG d6 version of Star Wars. It's opposed dice rolls. You have piloting and gunnery. Someone shoots at you with gunnery? You can roll piloting to dodge. Better pilots therefore have a much higher chance to survive. FFG Star Wars? Han Solo is slightly more likely to survive than you average Imperial tie pilot.

The last time we played we turned space battle into a sort of hybrid X-wing minis game. We used the minis and maneuvers from X-wing with piloting skill playing into it using a conversion method I've lost. It improved things a little but meant space battles slowed the game way down. Eventually we just sort of gave up on space battles altogether.
 

Zeea

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We went with 500 Creds per repair attempt, and every repair attempt uses the rules for damage control. So you roll and can add automatic points from a talent (can't recall the name of the talent).
That's a really cool idea! I'll try that one out.
 

Quantum Bob

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Spitballing here ... Does Vehicle Combat have an equivalent of Side Step? (I think not)

If not, you could add a leveled Sidestep-alike for Starships (if you use Genesys or have another way of injecting custom Talents) OR introduce an "enhanced evasive Maneuvers" maneuver that everybody with an actual piloting skill can do that costs 2 Hull strain and upgrades the Difficulty to hit your ship by (your Piloting Skill).
 

Victim

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I saw some game where even non combat actions rolled a sort of damage die and reduced HP; I believe it was called Effort dice or something. I would be nice if one of the advantage buys could be a point of damage or strain on the target being taken advantage of.
That seems kind of pointless IMO. The value of other actions isn't just to give people a way to contribute with other skills besides direct combat ones, it's to add dimension to combat besides a straight up damage race. So, yeah, it's a problem if there's not enough room in that added dimension for sufficient value. But essentially just collapsing other functions directly back into the damage race to add value is not a fix. It's just a different problem because it essentially just gives up on the other axis for combat entirely.

Oh, another thing I'd fix. Currently, you can fix critical hits easily but hull point damage costs a huge amount of money to repair. I don't think this works well with the system and genre, since it's not really one where you can do anything about being shot occasionally, and I don't think it's fun. I'd suggest dropping hull repair costs entirely and assuming a ship can get about 15 hull points worth of repair per day (like stim packs amount to). Maybe a tiny cost for those repair kits, but make it fast and simple and cheap.
Generally we've assumed that patrons will usually cover repair costs if you can get back their bases.

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How do people feel about the current model of treating big ships like SDs essentially identically to smaller ones, just with lots of health and armor and shields and weapons and a silhouette penalty to attacks?

Star Wars media and many space combat games tend to heavily emphasize targeting specific bits on giant ships to weaken them. You can kind of do that in game, but it's a result of lots of crits or triumphs, versus something you actually attempt to do. And at the same time, there's a diversity in armaments beyond damage. Concussion missiles were more agile and quicker to lock than proton torps in the old X Wing game, making the former much better against fighters than the later. But in the RPG a torp has only one less guided than a concussion missile and is otherwise better, so it only matters if you miss. Similarly, big ships eat the size based difficulty whether or not they attack a fighter with their big turbolasers or with their smaller anti-fighter turrets.

Take WEG d6 version of Star Wars. It's opposed dice rolls. You have piloting and gunnery. Someone shoots at you with gunnery? You can roll piloting to dodge. Better pilots therefore have a much higher chance to survive. FFG Star Wars? Han Solo is slightly more likely to survive than you average Imperial tie pilot.
Note that the FFG system on the whole doesn't want to use opposed rolls for combat on the whole, not just in space combat, and many of the defensive measures that do exist in talents and gear are often more weighted towards towards creating threats and despairs than in making it so you need lots of successes.. Probably so mediocre peoples can contribute in combat (although even if they hit, they're more likely to suffer other badness) as long as they have a big enough weapon. And ship combat is no different.

However, if you look at other defensive aspects of ships, they're few and far between. Whereas a normal character can become tougher via taking Brawn increases, some talents add to soak raw and others conditionally, Toughened for more wounds, things that add Defensive/Deflection, other bonus Defense, wear better armor or add superior to your armor, Parry/Reflect for force types, upgrades from Sense or other force stuff, and the strain upgrades from Dodge/Sidetep/Defensive Stance - plus others too - there is not nearly as much for ships. Your base wounds are set up by ship - which is mostly set by hull size. Armor is set by ship. There is an upgrade for +1 armor at the cost of handling. There's stuff like tricky target making your ship count as smaller so more ships face higher difficulty attacking you, and there's one strain based upgrade one on dedicated pilot specs and another force based one IIRC. Oh, and your ship weapons upgrades come out of the same hardpoints as your armor, shield, or engine, whereas on human scale characters those are separate things so you can improve all them with sufficient credits. While I can appreciate the idea of limiting how much a ship can be improved so people don't design their own TIE Crusader with 16 guns because if you have the money you can stack all the weapons you want on any base chassis, the hardpoints limits for ships are pretty harsh.
 

Lord Xcapobl

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One thing I heard somebody musing about, is to allow a pilot to execute Evasive Maneuvers. As a maneuver, the pilot would then replace the range based difficulty with the Piloting Skill used, and add to that the opposite dice of the handling of the vehicle.
Am example: a character with Agility 3 and Piloting 2 in a flying brick with Handling -2 would normally have [yellow][yellow][green][black][black] for his piloting check. If that character starts Evasive Maneuvers, the difficulty of an attack against his ship would become [red][red][purple][blue][blue], instead of what it would normally be for range and the likes.
This house rule would still take into account the maneuverability of the vehicle, keep basic difficulty levels the same as the core rules, but allow for any pilot to benefit from Piloting skill levels, if so chosen.
 

loconius

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One thing I heard somebody musing about, is to allow a pilot to execute Evasive Maneuvers. As a maneuver, the pilot would then replace the range based difficulty with the Piloting Skill used, and add to that the opposite dice of the handling of the vehicle.
Am example: a character with Agility 3 and Piloting 2 in a flying brick with Handling -2 would normally have [yellow][yellow][green][black][black] for his piloting check. If that character starts Evasive Maneuvers, the difficulty of an attack against his ship would become [red][red][purple][blue][blue], instead of what it would normally be for range and the likes.
This house rule would still take into account the maneuverability of the vehicle, keep basic difficulty levels the same as the core rules, but allow for any pilot to benefit from Piloting skill levels, if so chosen.
Does the evasive maneuvers action require a roll (which the handling is making harder already)? If so I would leave off thehandling from the difficulty of the attack, just to simplify the calculation of difficulty. Or are there talents that would benefit from having the boost/setback in there? I like this house rule though, but then again I’m partial to opposed checks and especially like how they are done in Star Wars / Genesys
 
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