System-Based Flights

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Tyrel Lohr
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System-Based Flights

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Wed Oct 19, 2016 2:37 am

I am wondering how we really want to handle system-based flights? I am currently considering that we'd just treat them as any other unit in a system, using the task force command limit rules for carrier strikes for all flight-only task forces. That way they are available to be brought into a battle if you want (taking up a ship slot), but no special rules.

The other option would be to say that system-based flights are garrisoned on a planet and are only available in a Defensive scenario and that you may include a number of flights equal to Productivity?

We had big issues in 1E with planetary fighter spam, and I'd rather treat them more like ships.
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Re: System-Based Flights

Postby gstano » Wed Oct 19, 2016 3:45 am

Tyrel, I would go with your original thought of treating fighters like other ships as well as following the carrier strike rules. In essence, the planet or base is the "carrier". This could also be another strength of Strikefighters. Yes, they can travel across a jump lane, but when fighting in a system they get their full stats. It could be a good investment for a power that may not use carriers heavily.

I would not go with the defensive scenario only given you have the carrier strike and strikefighter rules. The drawback to doing this is that the fighters will take up command slots.
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Re: System-Based Flights

Postby murtalianconfederacy » Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:15 am

I'd go with that. System fighters can partake in Defensive scenarios without any penalty, or can take part in any other scenario in a similar vein to Carrier Strikes.

:idea: Some of my reading material has given me an idea--namely, the Starfire book with the Thebans.

There could also be a Carrier Staging rule that would allow a number of planetary fighters to take part in a non-Defensive scenario at their full stats equal to the Basing of the fleet. So, if twenty flights are based from a planet, and the fleet has a total of Basing (8), then eight flights could have their full stats and the rest have to make do. This would simulate the flights travelling through normal space towards the carriers, docking and having their power/life support topped up.
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Re: System-Based Flights

Postby gstano » Sun Oct 23, 2016 2:15 am

I like the basing idea. This could become particularly effective using the advanced system generation rules. A major fighter using power could even deploy fighter bases to allow fighters more freedom to function within a system. It does make things a little more complex, so my first thought would be to run with the carrier strike and strikefighter concept first and then see how the basing rule works. It could function as a core rule, but it sounds like it would make for a good optional rule.
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Re: System-Based Flights

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Sun Oct 23, 2016 4:18 am

I'll make a note to incorporate this into the rules. I think in the Task Force section and again wherever we discuss flights in the opening section... and maybe again in the new construction deployment rules? So that players know that they can deploy Atmospheric flights to systems to act as defenders.

And depending on how playtesting turns out me way be able to get rid of strategic redeployments, or make them an optional rule. Flights might be strong enough now that we don't have to worry about it, and minefields have a strong strategic focus that makes them impossible to kill outside of combat unless you have a Minesweeper (or we let Missile ships be outfitted with Minesweeper packages).
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Re: System-Based Flights

Postby BroAdso » Sun Oct 23, 2016 11:36 am

Just to clarify, this means that when selecting your Task Force for a Scenario,

1) In an all scenarios, each flight from the Fleet you choose to include in the Task Force counts as a CC1 ship.

2) If there are flights based in the system where the scenario is being generated, a number equal to the system's Productivity plus the CV value of its bases may be included in the Fleet as if they were carrying out a Carrier Strike (see 3).

3) In a scenario where a Carrier Strike from an adjacent system has moved into a system with a friendly Fleet to fight a scenario, all the Carrier Striking flights are included in the Fleet but must follow normal rules to be included in the Task Force.

4) In a defensive scenario, all flights based on the planet and its bases may be included in the Fleet. You may include in the Task Force for no CC cost an additional number of flights equal to the Productivity of the System plus the CV value of any bases in the system.

Some elements of this seem tricky to me - why would I ever include a light fighter flight or even a medium fighter over a corvette or a destroyer if they both cost CC1 to include?

Seems more reasonable that the baseline for number of fighters you can have in your Task Force is equal to the CV value of the Task Force, with additional fighter squadrons costing 1CC each.

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Re: System-Based Flights

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Sun Oct 23, 2016 3:58 pm

BroAdso wrote:1) In an all scenarios, each flight from the Fleet you choose to include in the Task Force counts as a CC1 ship.

Flights being based from ships or bases in your task force don't count against the task force command limit, but you can include additional flights (from off map carriers or planetary bases) just like you would ships. Flights are considered to be CC 1 units for the purposes of missions. Non-Atmospheric flights must be based from ships or bases, and not from the system itself.

2) If there are flights based in the system where the scenario is being generated, a number equal to the system's Productivity plus the CV value of its bases may be included in the Fleet as if they were carrying out a Carrier Strike (see 3).

We could allow some "free" flights in Defensive scenarios, but I wouldn't allow that in other situations. And that also gets into the realm of having Productivity be a CR bonus in Defensive scenarios that allows you to add extra bases and system-based flights. But I think that could get a bit tricky in and of itself, because at that point in a heavily populated system you could easily get a +10 CR which would be like fielding a second squadron of ships, and would make planets much harder to attack.

3) In a scenario where a Carrier Strike from an adjacent system has moved into a system with a friendly Fleet to fight a scenario, all the Carrier Striking flights are included in the Fleet but must follow normal rules to be included in the Task Force.

I think we're in a agreement here in that the carrier strike flights need to follow all of the normal rules. As a player, I would probably bring in my flagship and one or two other ships (to absorb hits) and fill the rest of the task force with the strikefighters to let them do their damage and then as they are destroyed I can cycle them out for additional fighters or ships to reinforce my battle line.

4) In a defensive scenario, all flights based on the planet and its bases may be included in the Fleet. You may include in the Task Force for no CC cost an additional number of flights equal to the Productivity of the System plus the CV value of any bases in the system.

Using system Productivity as a free CV source might be the answer to this question, at least when it comes to flights. Then you assume the system itself has CV = Productivity and that lets the planetary fighter garrison to scramble some flights to protect you. But at that point it would be nice to include defense satellites, too, so maybe the Productivity is the CR for the bases? At that point we could go back to bases not having CR but just being included for free with system CR/Productivity, and otherwise being treated like any other unit that can be included otherwise? I am going to have to test this out to see how it pans out.

Some elements of this seem tricky to me - why would I ever include a light fighter flight or even a medium fighter over a corvette or a destroyer if they both cost CC1 to include?

This is a matter of economics more than anything else. The light fighters are cheaper to build and maintain, and for some empires that might be the only type of flight that they have. They are probably not going to bother with including them in a task force unless they get a free reserve, either using CV from ships/bases or from some Defensive scenario reserve force.

Seems more reasonable that the baseline for number of fighters you can have in your Task Force is equal to the CV value of the Task Force, with additional fighter squadrons costing 1CC each.

Yeah, that doesn't change, it's the system-based flights that throw a wrench into the works and always have. In 1E you could pretty much deploy everything (well, 1/3 of everything). Imagine a wave of 100 light fighters lifting off and heading for your fleet. I've seen that happens (Cardassian shuttles!!!!).

Let me put together a quick scenario for us and we can talk through the situation. Examples always work better.
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Re: System-Based Flights

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Sun Oct 23, 2016 4:24 pm

Okay, here's our scenario:

Those blasted Outworlds Confederation brigands have launched an attack into the Sol system and have generated a Defensive scenario against the forces at Mars (Productivity 3). Mars has 1 Olympus Station, 3 Javelin defsats, and 6 flights of Venture fighters. The defending fleet in Mars includes 2 Apollo light cruisers and 6 Sentry corvettes.

In setting up the scenario, the defending player sets up their task force like they normally would. One Apollo becomes the task force flagship (CR 5) and may include up to 5 units in its task force. Before we get that far, however, Mars contributes 3 units to the task force thanks to its Productivity. The defender chooses to include the Olympus Station and 2 flights of Ventures. The defsats and flights are kept in the reinforcements.

When building out the task force, the player could include some of these units in the task force, too. For example, he could include the 3 Javelins in his task force. In this case, the player decides to include the other Apollo, 2 Sentry, and 2 Javelin. The rest of the defending units are left in the reinforcements.

A round of combat sees both Javelins destroyed, the Olympus crippled, and both Ventures crippled. At the start of the next round, the player decides to cycle out the defenses (this would make sense as a bonus for being defenses) and includes 1 Javelin and 2 fresh Ventures.

# # #

Now in this example, we have the return of the classic "hiding your defenses" problem, which would seem to indicate that the better solution would be to have Defensive scenarios provide a +CR bonus equal to Productivity, then the player can choose to bring in the defenses (bases, flights) or not, their decision.

Bases would then go back to not having CR/CC, with the caveat that a base can be a flagship only if no other unit is present. That would preempt building lots of static defenses in an uninhabited system, but then I'm not sure that is necessary a bad thing. But it's something we'll have to consider.
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