Your Wishlist for Companion and First Contact?

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Tyrel Lohr
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Re: Your Wishlist for Companion and First Contact?

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Wed Jul 13, 2016 1:38 am

You can feel free to submit rule ideas here, too. Email ensures I see, but posting them here allows group discussion, too.
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Re: Your Wishlist for Companion and First Contact?

Postby PaulB » Thu Jul 14, 2016 8:51 pm

What about Auxiliary Fleets?

A Colony, Trade or Transport fleet can be refitted into an Auxiliary fleet at a cost of 3 EP, requiring a slipway. The Fleet has a maintenance of 1/1, retains its DV 10 and CC 1 and has 9 CP to spend on additional equipment. While converted the fleet can not perform its previous role. It may be converted back into its previous fleet with the use of a slipway at no cost.

It's possible also that the CP should be lower, like 7 points. Or additional restrictions placed on it like not more than half in any category. Or pre-built Auxiliaries could also be made with, like a gunship variety, a carrier variety, an AA variety, etcetera. Could convert from a trade/colony/transport to one of those and back again

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Re: Your Wishlist for Companion and First Contact?

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:36 pm

I had an Auxiliary ability originally slated for Atlas of Nearby Stars that went the "convert convoys into Auxiliary military units" route. I'll did up those rules tomorrow and post them. I think going that route with a standard set of Auxiliary units plus the ability to create your own (or unlock them via tech advancement) would be a good combo.

IIRC, I also had the "War Hull" 1E concept baked into Auxiliary, so that they don't cripple but are instead destroyed when they take damage equal to their DV to represent that their hulls aren't really built for taking a lot of punishment.
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Re: Your Wishlist for Companion and First Contact?

Postby PaulB » Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:43 pm

Yeah War Hull sounds like a good trait also, having no crippled state, just Destroyed. That would be good in representing such ships at the Andromedans from SFB or the Shadows from Babylon 5. They can take a lot of punishment but once you get through that layer of defence they just disintegrate.

I thought of a few other ship traits, though looking at Disruptor some of them may not make sense in the current game's rules.

Dumbfire
// Unit’s Anti Ship values are reduced to zero, not halved, while it is in a Defensive Posture.

(-1 Maint)?


Plasma
// AS Values are halved while the Unit is in a Formation Level of 0 or greater (Normal or Defensive Posture). The Unit may voluntarily adopt an Aggressive Posture, reducing its formation bonus to -1 to gain its full AS value.

(-1 Maint/Cost)?


Spotter
// Unit may lower the Formation Bonus of one enemy unit in the same way as a Disruptor while adopting an Aggressive Stance. While in an Aggressive Stance, the Spotter's formation bonus is reduced to -1 (before scout functions).

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Re: Your Wishlist for Companion and First Contact?

Postby mwaschak » Thu Jul 28, 2016 5:26 pm

PaulB wrote:Edited.

Had a rule idea, but thought I should submit any rules ideas to Tyrel/Jay directly.


Please do! It has been a busy week here (I just got back from traveling and I believe Tyrel is still on vacation), but I will get to them.

Thanks!
Jay

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Re: Your Wishlist for Companion and First Contact?

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Sat Jul 30, 2016 6:26 pm

I just got back from vacation, ending on another airport misadventure from hell. But I did manage to actually make it home, just 4 hours later than originally planned (but I was able to find a early morning flight back here to Cleveland).

I didn't have a laptop or access to all of my VBAM notes, so I took a break and worked on the Government rules instead. I'll be typing those up and sending them on to the internal group tonight.
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Re: Your Wishlist for Companion and First Contact?

Postby PaulB » Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:26 pm

Some more special ability ideas:

Fragile
This unit can take only half of its DV in damage (rounded down) before being crippled. It takes its full DV in damage to change its state from crippled to destroyed as normal.


Interceptor
Uncrippled units with the Interceptor trait may engage the enemy in an additional round of combat at the end of a Deep Space, Pursuit (as pursuers) or Blockade Scenario (as blockading force). In a Blockade Scenario, they may also choose to force an additional round of combat on any Blockade Runners which leave the scenario early. If so, the Runners and the Intercepting ships perform one additional round of separate combat, after which any surviving Blockade Runners successfully escape. Any Interceptors involved in that combat are also ignored for the main combat until its conclusion.

Not sure how useful that would be, as it serves as kind of a limited interdict power that works for ships with the intercept trait only (requiring maybe a squadron or two). Depending on the ratios it might be a death sentence for those ships that force the issue.


Disposable(X)
Unit may voluntarily suffer attrition damage prior to the combat roll in order to increase its damage for the turn. Multiply the attrition damage taken by the Disposable trait's factor and add this to the unit's AS factor. Damage voluntarily taken in this way may not exceed the amount currently required to cripple the unit (or destroy the unit, if a flight).

(X would be full values, but maybe fractional as well? Like 1/2. Where a unit would need to sacrifice 2 Attrition points for 1 extra damage). This can also be used to represent suicide fighters which attack by destroying themselves, firing a weapon in the process, rather than ramming. Such as a flight with DV 2 AS 0 AF 0 and Disposable(3) for example.


PoorNav(1) or (2)
Units with the PoorNav trait have difficulties navigating treacherous jump lanes. Each time a unit with this trait navigates a Restricted jump lane, roll 1d10. On a roll of 1 the unit gets separated from its task force, and suffers the effects of Scouts in Peril (2E 4.6.5). A unit with PoorNav(2) rolls for Minor Lanes as well as Restricted. In addition to losing supply levels and potential being lost in hyperspace, the unit will return to the original system, forming a new task force if one is not already there. For units that are exploring, the PoorNav roll is made in addition to the exploration roll, with a 1 on either roll resulting in the effects of Scouts in Peril (this can only be suffered once per turn).

-1 Maintenance per Level


Capacitors(X)
Capacitors absorb and store some of the energy received by incoming damage and convert it into attack power. For each point of damage suffered, multiply that by the Capacitor rating, this value may be added to AS or AF as a one-time bonus for the battle. If the unit is crippled, it may still use its attack bonus on the subsequent turn, after which time the capacitors are disabled as with other special equipment.

Most factors would I think be fractional, but some could be 1 or 2. A Cruiser with DV 10, AS 4, AF 4 and Capacitor(1/2) takes 10 damage, enough to cripple it. This reduces its AS and AF values to 2 a piece. However on the next turn, it can use its capacitors to add 5 to either one. So turn after it would be AS 7 let's say, then with the bonus used, it reverts to AS 2. Similarly a ship with say DV 10 AS 4 AF 4 and Capacitor(1) say takes say 4 attrition damage. The next turn, it could boost say its AS to 8. Turn after that, maybe it takes the remaining 6 damage to cripple it. Then it has AS 2 but could boost that to AS 8 after which the capacitor is crippled


Ram Prow
Ships with a ramming prow are both designed and armored in such a way to ram an enemy target and live to fight another day. These units take half damage (rounded down) when executing a ram. This does not apply to enemy weapons fire prior in the turn nor does it apply when the unit is itself the target of an enemy ship's ramming attempt.

Alternatively, maybe it has a factor (2), (3), (4) where the factor is the damage divisor. Such as if the rating is 3, divide the damage taken by three, or put another way, take 1 point of damage for every 3 suffered

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Re: Your Wishlist for Companion and First Contact?

Postby aelius » Fri Aug 12, 2016 7:01 am

I like Poor Nav, and Capacitors would be good for something like the SFB Andromedans. The Ram could also be a force field extension to protect the ship. Weber and White used something like that for the Theban ramming fleet in Crusade.
Of course, that's just color.
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Re: Your Wishlist for Companion and First Contact?

Postby PaulB » Fri Aug 12, 2016 7:47 am

Yeah with the Ramming Prow I was thinking something like Battlefleet Gothic conversions, or perhaps even Noble Armada, where age of sail style of combat and tactics seem to be pretty dominant. But as you mention, think there are a lot of things where a Ram Prow could prove essential.

Will try to keep thinking up some new unit abilities.


Just had a thought. What about the Destroids from Robotech / Macross. Or even say Battletech. The idea of Mecha, ground combat units or in the case of VBAM specialized flights which don't deploy as separate fighters but instead augment a ship's firepower. Maybe one could have something like the Mac II Monster boost the AS and something like the Defender X boost the AF. I'm not sure how you would value that though. Presumably, they would not add to the DV value. Or maybe if they did, they'd be destroyed first and the bonus to damage would be lost.

Speaking of this, if I get back to my solo campaign, I should put the Zentraedi in there. Klingons vs Zentraedi, could be fun :lol:

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Re: Your Wishlist for Companion and First Contact?

Postby aelius » Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:06 am

I have been working on a fleet built around the idea that cruisers and up would carry mines. These would actually be Autonomous Kill Vehicles (AKV). This would represent expendable drones to augment the combat power of a ship or squadron. 2 spaces of minelayer gives four minefields. That is a quite nice boost to a squadrons firepower and defenses. And it fits with where our war fighting tech seems to be going.
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Re: Your Wishlist for Companion and First Contact?

Postby PaulB » Sat Aug 13, 2016 1:29 am

Sounds cool. Maybe you can get it in the 2e equivalent of menagerie.


Another thought for Special Abilities & Robotech. I wonder about, simulating some sort of slow-firing Super Weapon for a ship ala the Macross Cannon or the Starblazer Yamato main gun. Like maybe:

Supergun(X)

Add AS value equal to the Rating x 10 for one round. Cannot be fired for 1d6+1 rounds. If a fleet has multiple ships with this trait, the delay is only rolled once for all ships.



Now supergun is a superterrible name, and the values are just plucked out of the air but something like that might be compelling. Also 10 AS doesn't really match the firepower of say the SDF-1 Main Cannon, but if that ship had a rating of say 4 or something it would do 40 AS which would be similar. Maybe ReflexGun or, Superbeam. Don't know.

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Re: Your Wishlist for Companion and First Contact?

Postby BroAdso » Sat Sep 03, 2016 11:17 am

Are there any updates on the progress of the 2nd edition Companion or First Contact? I'm really itching to get my hands on some exploration and sector based movement rules in particular. Got a new computer and a second monitor, so designing some pretty campaigns is in the future.

Also, got one or two rule ideas:

Science (X) (+1 EP Cost, +1 Maint, Ships or Bases only): Each point of Science costs one ship design point. For each point of Science, a ship contributes its Science rating in EP to the Empire's science research pool on each turn it doesn't move, escort, or participate in a battle.

Modular (X) (+1 EP, Ships, Bases, or Fighters only): For each point of Modular, a ship may add one Module per two DV. A ship with Modular may 'swap' one module for another by spending one turn in a slipway. Modules are functionally the same in effect as the types of Missiles listed in the VBAM Campaign Guide.

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Tyrel Lohr
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Re: Your Wishlist for Companion and First Contact?

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Sat Sep 10, 2016 3:32 pm

I'm done with my move back to Wyoming and have my office more or less set back up. I had to work last weekend over Labor day, but this weekend I plan on setting up my laptop and working on the 2E Companion for most of the weekend (I have a few other projects to work on for other customers, but that should only take 2-3 hours of time).

Right now I think we have all but two chapters finished and ready for layout. I am looking at changes to the Exploration and Non-Player Empire chapters, likely to combine the meat of the two and then move some of the Exploration Campaign topics to an earlier chapter where I think they are going to gel better. I wasn't liking how those rules were flowing, namely because it seemed like I was conflating two different concepts, and then trying to shoe-horn in rules that really only matter if you're using NPEs anyway.

With the loss of one chapter of content, I'm adding back another chapter of materials that was originally cut for length that I couldn't find another good home for. I'll be working on that this weekend, too.

So I'm going to finish making those changes this weekend and then once the Companion text is ready I'll send the text out to playtesters and get feedback as I begin working on art and layout for that book.

First Contact I left in a more complete state. I am in the process of updating traits to the new categories and getting the rest of the rules updated accordingly. I worked on the government rules while I was on vacation and have those finished and ready. I moved back to a more flavorful model so that each government offers a different combination of advantages and disadvantages to make them all interesting, and tried to shake things up a bit from 1E. Like for one government, a Scientific focus might give you a 20% reduction in tech advancement costs, but for another government that usually has an INCREASED tech advancement cost from the government type they instead can build units that are a Tech Year more advanced than normal. So you end up with some interesting back and forth like that with some of the governments. There is some overlap in focus effects, but I've tried to make things just different enough so that each government seems to have its own relative play style. Totalitarian is for more aggressive play, Representative is more versatile, Collective is more defensive, etc. Think of them more like RPG class playbooks this time around.

What we may do this time around for release is look into doing an "Early Access" release of the rules and then fix as many issues as we can before having the book printed and the final PDF assembled. But I have to discuss that with the rest of the team before we proceed with that idea.
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Re: Your Wishlist for Companion and First Contact?

Postby wadewan » Tue Sep 13, 2016 4:45 pm

Tyrel Lohr wrote:Now that the 2e Campaign Guide is now out, I can finally shift my attention back to the 2e Companion and First Contact (Menagerie replacement) books. They are about about 50% done, but I wanted to poll the audience and see what kinds of things you want to see in these books? Is there anything from 1e that you definitely want to see stay around in the new versions, or some things that you really want to see in the new versions?


Tyrel,

Will the Internal Politics Rules from Stars Divided be ported over to the Companion Guide? I am using them and enjoying them with some house rules tied to Morale reactions.

Cheers,

Wade

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Tyrel Lohr
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Re: Your Wishlist for Companion and First Contact?

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Wed Sep 14, 2016 2:55 am

wadewan wrote:Will the Internal Politics Rules from Stars Divided be ported over to the Companion Guide? I am using them and enjoying them with some house rules tied to Morale reactions.


Those rules are going to be included in First Contact, so that they can go along with the custom empire rules. That seemed to be the most natural fit for them.
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