Test Combats

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Iron Sky
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Test Combats

Postby Iron Sky » Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:26 am

So, I thought I'd try to run a couple combats as I understand them since the combat Tyrel sent in the playtest e-mail didn't seem to follow the rules as I understand them in the playtest rule packet. I'm going to start with a simple fight to see if I'm doing anything correctly.

Tirelon Force
1x Battlecruiser(TBC)
2x Frigate(TFF1,TFF2)
1x Corvette(TCV)
Total cost: 69

Brindaki Force
1x Battleship(BBB)
3x Destroyer(BDD1, BDD2, BDD3)
Total cost: 69

Let's say they meet in a neutral system to make things as balanced as possible (who knows how the FTL-less TCV got there, must have been towed and left to fend off pirates?)

The Tirelon have 8 max CR as do the Brindaki. The Tirelon Corvette has Jammer 1 however, reducing the Brindaki to 7.

The Tirelon open with an Deep Space Scenario with all 8 CC. They select the TBC as the command unit, spending its 8 CR on TFF1+2(3CC each) and TCV(2CC). The Brindaki select BBB as their command unit, spending its 8 CR on BDD1+2(4CC each). They can't select BDD3 as they don't have enough command.

Both sides have 0 Surprise modifier and so roll straight-up on the table. Tirelons roll an unlucky 3 for -2 Readiness while the Brindaki roll a slightly better 6 for -1.

Neither sides have Carrier, EW, Stealth, or Fast, so they jump to Screening.

The Tirelons have 14 PD, roll 5-2=.3 * 14 = 4.2 ↑ to 5. They choose to boost TBC and TFF1 to FL2.

The Brindaki have 8 PD, roll 2-1=.1 * 8 = .8 ↑ to 1, which isn't enough to boost their FL on anything.

Time for firing.

The Tirelons have AS 13, roll 1-2=.1 * 13 = 1.3 ↑ to 2. They hit BDD1 for 2 damage.

The Brindaki have AS 12, roll 6-1=.5 * 12 = 6. They deal 5 damage to TFF2 to cripple it, then 1 more to TCV.

Round1 status:
TBC - FL2
TFF1 - FL2
TFF2 - FL1, 5 damage, crippled
TCV - FL1, 1 damage
Readiness -2

BBB - FL1
BDD1 - FL1, 2 damage
BDD2 - FL1
Readiness -1

At this point, the rules don't say whether you re-roll Readiness or adjust it in any way, so I'll stop there.

The main question that came up is, as written, when given 8 CP to spend to select command units, does that buy me 1 of those or as many command units as I want that are 8CC or less? If the latter, what would stop me from simply making every ship in the system a command ship to include everything in the combat together? As long as your biggest ship has enough CR to cover itself, you'd never need CR on anything else.

I made a dozen ships/ground forces using the spreadsheet and the rules as they are written (as well as I can interpret), but then with the flurry of e-mails today now don't know enough to finish up the designs as the CSR rules seem to be in flux and/or at odds with what is written...
Last edited by Iron Sky on Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:38 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Tyrel Lohr
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Re: Test Combats

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:19 pm

The combat rules have been in flux for awhile, and it's one part of the rules where I end up confusing myself as to which set of rules have survived to the current version and where changes have been implemented.

Based on the surface read from the battle, it looks like you did everything right. You got to the end of the first round of combat, and at that point you would have rolled for Readiness adjustments (this may go back to the automatic adjustment towards +-0 based on future testing) and had the players decide whether or not to continue fighting or not (which is the other point of contention that this current playtest cycle is meant to address, aka how to determine scenario length without it being a preordained value).

Now, as to your question, as written the command points spent to form the task force is the total Command Cost of squadron command units that you can add to your task force. The 8 CP would then be spent to include up to 8 CC of units, then those units would each add an additional CC of units to their squadrons equal to their own Command values.

Based on the previous email conversations and testing, however, it is looking like a better solution would be to have the players total their Command value at the start of an encounter and use that as the reserve that they have to spend on scenarios, eliminating the concept of squadrons from the game entirely at this point in time (to be reintroduced as an advanced optional rule later on down the road). This eliminates the need for the Communications special ability (it would have to be revisited later on), and Communications value just handled as a straight Command boost on the existing units. Then players would just spend straight Command to include units in a scenario.

None of these proposed changes are in effect in the current playtest until formally announced. Any official changes will be included in a playtest errata. I want to make sure that changes aren't made on the spur of the moment and need extra time to test them before they are fully implemented.
"Touch not the pylons, for they are the messengers!"

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Iron Sky
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Re: Test Combats

Postby Iron Sky » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:21 am

So, with current rules my understanding is:

1) Re-roll Readiness each round. Are there any modifiers (initial modifiers, last round's modifiers)? I like the rolling of Readiness each round as it adds a sense of "the odds changing" to things, which also makes my predilection using last round's modifier as it reflects the initial setup without straitjacketing it.

2) I get the CR / CC purchase of command elements and further purchase using the command elements now. What I still don't understand is what my opponent's response is. Are they FORCED to field the maximum number of units in response? There are a number of exploitable issues with the current squadron system, as cool as it is in concept (which you mentioned).

Issue A: If the enemy isn't forced to match me, he can just keep a couple throw-away corvettes to sacrifice and avoid the issue.

Issue B: If the enemy is forced to spend all CR on Command units, they could still elect to pick some low-CR units as their command elements to avoid fielding a large force. "I'm going to send these 8 CC1 CR0 Decoy-class Corvettes against your Ultimate Warfleet and have the rest of my ships attack your supply and transport ships when it's my turn."

After some reflection, the main issue with the CR system is that it can be gamed depending on whether you want to bring in a lot of ships or avoid bringing them in. If you went to a squadron-less CR-for-CC system, you could still design 0 CR fleets that are almost impossible to pin down or attack ("You field 26CR of ships? I field 0 since I have 0CR total on my 30 ships)" that could rampage through your systems and couldn't be attacked.

Alternately, if you used a squadron system, you could have only ships in the same squadron would share PD/EW/AS/Fast/etc ratings with the squadron flagship "buying" all the others into the squadron via its CR. This retains the squadron flavor yet makes CR optional instead of required. Caveat: With rounding combat rolls up, you would never make squadrons if you could avoid it, so this variant would require rounding combat rolls down.

If you retained the current system (or the CR-for-CC alternative you proposed), I think maybe the CR should be spent to buy enemy units that are forced to fight, then you can field the same CR worth of ships. The enemy could then respond by buying more ships to protect the target ones with their CR pool, and again you would be allowed to purchase more ships equal to their counter-CR investment and the battle would be set.

In summary, currently it's unclear what your opponent's responsibility is when you create a scenario. Likely, the best response is to send as crappy a force as possible to waste your ships' turn and your CR, then select their own scenario - to which you can then send in your crappy counter-force. It could turn into a strange game of "junk ship attrition" where you try to use up your enemy's "empty hulls" as quickly as possible so you can force engagement of real targets...

Proposal: The best alternative I can think for CR is to give some sort of readiness/surprise roll bonus per "full CR" rating of the fleet. For example, if you have CR 8 and CC 4, you gain a 2 "Command Factor" that you can spend to improve your own or decrease your enemy's Readiness rolls each round. This makes CR useful without making it required and gives it a unique niche. It also requires more combat decisions: do I try to take out his C3 ships so he stops giving me this -2 Readiness penalty each turn or go for those Attack Frigates that are chewing up my ships?

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Re: Test Combats

Postby nimrodd » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:47 am

Iron Sky wrote:So, with current rules my understanding is:

1) Re-roll Readiness each round. Are there any modifiers (initial modifiers, last round's modifiers)? I like the rolling of Readiness each round as it adds a sense of "the odds changing" to things, which also makes my predilection using last round's modifier as it reflects the initial setup without straitjacketing it.


Page 87 - Recovery Phase (2nd paragraph)
"An empire makes a D6 roll during the Recovery Phase if its readiness modifier is greater than or equal to zero. The modifier is advanced towards zero if the die result is less than 1 or greater than 6. This allows for above and below readiness effects to slowly wear off during a battle as empires lose the element of surprise or recover from being taken off guard by the attack, respectively."

Since your readiness changes if you roll less than 1 or more than 6, I believe they left out the part where you add your readiness modifier to the die roll.

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Iron Sky
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Re: Test Combats

Postby Iron Sky » Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:41 pm

The test rules say this for the Recovery Phase:

"At the end of the combat round players reset
formation levels to 1, remove destroyed units, and
check unit basing for units that were crippled that
round and may not have enough Basing value to
continue transporting all of the flights, ground forces,
or other cargo that they are currently carrying.

After making these adjustments, each player chooses
to continue the battle or retreat. A combat scenario
continues until one side is completely eliminated or
both sides choose to retreat."

It doesn't say anything about Readiness there, though it does answer my question about scenario length. Don't know how I missed it. I have the 1-5-13 draft of the rules... was there a newer one?

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Re: Test Combats

Postby Iron Sky » Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:49 am

Jimmy was right, I had the 1/5/13, not the 1/6/13 draft.

I'll try to proceed with the combat now:

Recovery Phase at the end of round 1:

Tirelons roll 1d6-2 to see if their Readiness normalizes *rummages around for some d6s*: 6-2 = 4, no change.

Brindaki roll 1d6-1: 6-1 = 5, no change.

It's now time to decide whether or not to retreat.

The Tirelons took the brunt of the first round, but they still have more CCs of ships in the fight than the Brindaki, so they decide to stick it out for another round. The Brindaki, though technically slightly outclassed want to see if they can duplicate the first round and also continue.

Round 2

Screening
Tirelon PD: 13 (reduced by 1 due to TFF2 being crippled), roll 1-2 = .1 * 13 = 1.3 ↑ to 2. They boost the crippled TFF2 to FL2. Not looking good so far.

Brindaki PD: 8, roll 1-1 = .1 * 8 = .8 ↑ to 1. Their ships are all too big to increase.

Firing
Tirelon AS 12 (reduced by 1 by TFF2 crippling), roll 2-2 = .1 * 12 = 1.2 ↑ to 2. They throw 2 more damage at BDD1, but still not enough to cripple the tough little ship.

Brindaki AS 12, roll 5-1 = .4 * 12 = 4.8 ↑ to 5. A good roll, now what to do with it. The crippled TFF2 is being screened by the fleet and so they don't have enough firepower to finish off the crippled Frigate, so instead they'll crippled TFF1.

Recovery
Tirelon: 1d6-2=1-2 = -1, Readiness goes to -1!
Brindaki: 1d6-1=5-1 = 4, Readiness unchanged.

Round2 status:
TBC - FL2
TFF1 - FL2, 5 damage, crippled
TFF2 - FL1, 5 damage, crippled
TCV - FL1, 1 damage
Readiness -1

BBB - FL1
BDD1 - FL1, 4 damage
BDD2 - FL1
Readiness -1

At this point, the Tirelons have all but one ship damaged and two crippled frigates in exchange for moderate damage to a destroyer. They retreat.

Anyone have a test combat you want to see? Just give me two races, some EP values and/or premade fleets and I'll run the combat to see one way it might turn out.


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