New, some questions and suggestions.

Discuss the tactics and strategy of operating your own personal mercenary air squadron. Pilots, to your planes!
Havock
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New, some questions and suggestions.

Postby Havock » Sat Jun 11, 2016 7:55 pm

Hi, it's relatively quiet here but not compeltely dead looking at the recent messages. WHich is good.

Picked this up a few years ago on... RPG drivethru or something?
Anyway, fun game, works great for RP-lite parties as well, even some folks who have zero affinity with jets whatsoever were screaming at the others that no, that plane is shit/too expensive and they need this/save up for Y.

It's great, even in single player mode: some slow pace analog gaming can be really relaxing. A beer, some music on the background (or a movie that's on its umpteenth rerun), some snacks, go.

So some ideas:
Planes:
MIG-17: just give it two connected hardpoints so you can put a fuel tank or gun pod under it, it's sad enough as is :p

Also, is there a "blank' plane sheet? I'd love to make some stuff like older F-16 models and the like.

Promo planes:
The A-7 is fine, probably even a bit on the underpowered side, it's a bit more balanced than the F-4 with it's wide +/- statline but no radar hurts. It's probably a 35/2 plane.

MIG-27: OP for uncommon, I'd bump it up one tier, that way it has a niche in being the cheapest aircraft in its tier with pretty decent performance instead of being the flatout best option in the early game aside from the A-10 for dedicated ground pounding. It doesn't even compare unfavourably to the Harrier which is 20 more expensive. It would be Gripen of the Withheld options, so to speak.

Equipment:
How do people rule the Twin Cannon pods?
I tend to go with "they don't stack" to avoid someone flying around in a fully operational battlestation with enough dakka to reduce the armies of the free world to nothing. I mean an A-10 that automatically hits whatever doesn't fly at high altitude and enough ammo to just tape the trigger down is fun the first time.

Missions: We're Next. How in the name of Oppenheimer's Glorious Light does one play it?
1- deploy stuff
2- six turns of nothing while they fly toward you
3- randomly start rolling encounter points that appear over your target area?

I'll end it with a funny anecdote when I was "GM'ing" and my players rolled their random encounter, Sophistication 1, 2d6 points,
Roll 12. Well, balls, wish you had bought that Tomahawk now didnt you?

First encounter they went in blind because radar fail: get cascading encounter points, end up getting 11 points worth of airplanes on their asses. Well, ok, you say, that can happen.
Fifteen MiG-17's.

Fifteen, a fair amount of which were green. Versus barely regular pilots in barely-beyond-starting gear.
It was hilarious and sad.

They have cemented themselves as a permanent rival:
Quantity Wing.

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Re: New, some questions and suggestions.

Postby Charles Lewis » Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:14 pm

Love it!
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Re: New, some questions and suggestions.

Postby Havock » Tue Jun 14, 2016 5:59 am

What is, the encounter? ;)

Also, regarding bidding I always found it too random, a bunch of low rolls can effectively mean "skip this part", meaning no play. Anyone else experienced the dreaded unemployment wave? :')

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Re: New, some questions and suggestions.

Postby mwaschak » Thu Jun 16, 2016 1:38 pm

I have indeed! It is also very much like a MAS after a series of rough missions when you lose some pilots and planes. I generally have to take me, or the group, back to some randomly generated missions to get back on our feet.

I am glad to hear that you have enjoyed the game. I have also found that playing in groups has been enjoyable, especially if everyone is in the same squadron.

The MiG-17 is a sad plane, but you can't beat that cost man! I may have a blank sheet somewhere. The originals were all done in Adobe Illustrator, but they also work in Inkscape, which is a free program.

We are actually have a finished draft for a supplement called Brush Wars created by a fan that we need to get out the door.

Havock wrote:Promo planes:
The A-7 is fine, probably even a bit on the underpowered side, it's a bit more balanced than the F-4 with it's wide +/- statline but no radar hurts. It's probably a 35/2 plane.


I would consider that, with an increased rarity. My concern with the A-7 was making it the obvious replacement for the starting planes.


Havock wrote:MIG-27: OP for uncommon, I'd bump it up one tier, that way it has a niche in being the cheapest aircraft in its tier with pretty decent performance instead of being the flatout best option in the early game aside from the A-10 for dedicated ground pounding. It doesn't even compare unfavourably to the Harrier which is 20 more expensive. It would be Gripen of the Withheld options, so to speak.


Really? I have heard complaints that it was not usable as is. I only mentioned it because the players I know then to take the Harrier with a specialized pilot and can stay out of trouble against a MiG-27. I might run a few scenarios with that.


Havock wrote:Equipment:
How do people rule the Twin Cannon pods?
I tend to go with "they don't stack" to avoid someone flying around in a fully operational battlestation with enough dakka to reduce the armies of the free world to nothing. I mean an A-10 that automatically hits whatever doesn't fly at high altitude and enough ammo to just tape the trigger down is fun the first time.


They do not stack. You can have multiples, but they only get used one at a time. That would be madness. MADNESSS!

Havock wrote:Missions: We're Next. How in the name of Oppenheimer's Glorious Light does one play it?
1- deploy stuff
2- six turns of nothing while they fly toward you
3- randomly start rolling encounter points that appear over your target area?


You have to sit there in fear while the Mercantile hunts you man.

Seriously though, you take some time to get your birders in the air, move to them if you like so they can't hit any planes you have on the ground while you wear down the substantial air threat number.

I have seen a few games where the pilots got their planes up, but didn't stop them before they got in and they took out 4 unmanned planes on the ground (yeah, 2 were old MiG's).


I'll end it with a funny anecdote when I was "GM'ing" and my players rolled their random encounter, Sophistication 1, 2d6 points,
Roll 12. Well, balls, wish you had bought that Tomahawk now didnt you?
[/quote]

:lol:

So true. I love it when the group wants to "save money" and cheap on those things too.

Havock wrote:First encounter they went in blind because radar fail: get cascading encounter points, end up getting 11 points worth of airplanes on their asses. Well, ok, you say, that can happen.
Fifteen MiG-17's.

Fifteen, a fair amount of which were green. Versus barely regular pilots in barely-beyond-starting gear.
It was hilarious and sad.

They have cemented themselves as a permanent rival:
Quantity Wing.


Whoa! Ok, I like that the other group tried to Zerg rush your group. How bad did it get? Was everyone out of cannons?

-Jay

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Re: New, some questions and suggestions.

Postby Havock » Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:33 pm

mwaschak wrote:The MiG-17 is a sad plane, but you can't beat that cost man!


Eh the MIG-21 is only 5 cheaper, then again, Heavy Cannon stronk.

I would consider that, with an increased rarity. My concern with the A-7 was making it the obvious replacement for the starting planes.


Possibly, it's a bit more rounded than the F-4 who cannot into turning like ever, the F-4 is a better plane to keep because it's a great ground pounder and boom & zoom fighter. The corsair is really a jack of all trades, master of none.

Really? I have heard complaints that it was not usable as is. I only mentioned it because the players I know then to take the Harrier with a specialized pilot and can stay out of trouble against a MiG-27. I might run a few scenarios with that.


The MiG-27, promo plane, it's $35/1 and has stats that are not unfavourable compared to some withheld planes and it is flat out better than the Mirage III, it's closest uncommon competitor. At everything.
It's mostly becaue it's so cheap and you can get it so early. Yeah the Harrier is better, but you can egt this thing so much sooner for a lot less that you can very well skip the harrier and go straight up to the F-15 or something.

You have to sit there in fear while the Mercantile hunts you man.

Seriously though, you take some time to get your birders in the air, move to them if you like so they can't hit any planes you have on the ground while you wear down the substantial air threat number.

I have seen a few games where the pilots got their planes up, but didn't stop them before they got in and they took out 4 unmanned planes on the ground (yeah, 2 were old MiG's).


Eh so basically you roll an air encounter dice each turn and move them up the bands?
I don't fear those snobs :p


Whoa! Ok, I like that the other group tried to Zerg rush your group. How bad did it get? Was everyone out of cannons?

-Jay


Well the random squadron (mostly just given a name because how dumb the encounter was shot down two, they shot down 5 and the remaining two turned tail.
They were flying a Corsair and a Phantom, they didn't have the skills yet to do one shot, one kill and while they needed to get lucky a lot of times, the opfor only needed to get lucky four times.

Were I actually playing rather than "GM'ing" the mission I would have bugged. That or evade for 6 turns and watch them fall down dry. But I wasn't, I was unsure whether to facepalm or to laugh.

"Quantity Squadron: Because who needs radar and fly by wire when you can raid museums and forge pilot credentials."

They still demand revanche at some point. I fully expect to have at some point a thing called "the Great Fresco Massacre" or "Rogue mercenary band smashes museum pieces, destroys local business."

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Re: New, some questions and suggestions.

Postby mwaschak » Fri Jun 17, 2016 12:43 pm

Havock wrote:Eh the MIG-21 is only 5 cheaper, then again, Heavy Cannon stronk.


Cheapest mop in the game! I have used them in a few games to fly a band behind my screening force and just clean up ground targets with it.

The MiG-27, promo plane, it's $35/1 and has stats that are not unfavourable compared to some withheld planes and it is flat out better than the Mirage III, it's closest uncommon competitor. At everything.
It's mostly becaue it's so cheap and you can get it so early. Yeah the Harrier is better, but you can egt this thing so much sooner for a lot less that you can very well skip the harrier and go straight up to the F-15 or something.


That is a fair point. So maybe $30 instead? It is just such a solid plane when it starts taking hits.


Eh so basically you roll an air encounter dice each turn and move them up the bands?
I don't fear those snobs :p


That is the spirit! There have been some times though I just got steamrolled when I saw what they brought. Maybe not a swarm of MiG-17's, but it was significant enough!


Well the random squadron (mostly just given a name because how dumb the encounter was shot down two, they shot down 5 and the remaining two turned tail.
They were flying a Corsair and a Phantom, they didn't have the skills yet to do one shot, one kill and while they needed to get lucky a lot of times, the opfor only needed to get lucky four times.


And that is probably enough in the early game I think. There can be those bad moments we mentioned earlier with the MiG-17 when the thing gets in close and hits your plane with that cannon.

Were I actually playing rather than "GM'ing" the mission I would have bugged. That or evade for 6 turns and watch them fall down dry. But I wasn't, I was unsure whether to facepalm or to laugh.

"Quantity Squadron: Because who needs radar and fly by wire when you can raid museums and forge pilot credentials."

They still demand revanche at some point. I fully expect to have at some point a thing called "the Great Fresco Massacre" or "Rogue mercenary band smashes museum pieces, destroys local business."


lol

I like to picture your MAS just intercepting some old Cold War air show wing. Hey man, 2015 is a wild time to be a pilot :shock: .

-Jay

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Re: New, some questions and suggestions.

Postby Havock » Fri Jun 17, 2016 3:33 pm

You mean $40 for the MiG 27, right? I don't think making it cheaper is the way to go.

EH I just played a game where I shoved it at Withheld at 35/2 and that works (*40/1 works better), if you roll high you want to nab them but early game you don't have any garantuee that you get it while midgame you probably have the cash to jump straight to a Harrier or whatever.

It's nothing serious really, just an observation that my group went "so if we all fly these things we only really need one guy to fly an ordnance truck for the ground pound missions, ok."

Whic is wy the F-15 remains useful until you get the Eurofighter or Imp. Flanker, good flight characteristics and enough potential ordnance to level a small country.

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Re: New, some questions and suggestions.

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:49 pm

I can dig up the old Illustrator files and create a blank template and put it up in the downloads section, and post it here for good measure. I'll add that to my to-do list for later tonight.

Like Jay said, Brush Wars is waiting for one of the MAS developers to finish up the plane cards and then I can put together the final book and release it.
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Re: New, some questions and suggestions.

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:44 pm

Here's my first stab at a blank sheet.

How many Fuel, Chaff, etc. circles should be included over there by default? And should numbers be included in the cannons?

I'm not the MAS guy, so I don't know these things. :?
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Re: New, some questions and suggestions.

Postby Havock » Wed Jun 29, 2016 12:54 am

I'd just put 10 chaff and flare circles in there and have people black out the ones until they get the number they want. 10 seems to be the max, so eh. Same goes for radar and ecm, easier to scratch off a score than to mess around writing it up. Unless you just leave it blank and have them fill out he score themselves.

Hardpoints are a bit harder (hah!), but you can go for a "just put an assload on the sheet and have people sort it out (and forego a lot of space for illustration) or just use something like 1/1/4 for something that has two single wing pylons and 4 connected ones.

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Re: New, some questions and suggestions.

Postby Crajon » Fri Jul 08, 2016 2:03 am

I would love to see VBAM put blanks for air craft . This way some of the older types ,like the F-105D Thunderchief , could be used in a game .

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Re: New, some questions and suggestions.

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:14 pm

A long term goal has been to come up with a new airplane card format that would be easier to update, with extra benefits if it could be done via something like an Excel spreadsheet so that players could have an easy unit builder.

The problem has been that there hasn't been a "champion" for MAS the last few years that has had the time or interest to go back in and work on that. I've been working on getting VBAM 2E finished, Jay has been working on Full Thrust and War Fleet, and Charlie has been working on Steel Castles.

That being said, once I get done with the 2E main line I can shift over and try to get the MAS line refreshed and get a free update out for MAS and Brush Wars (finally) released. I've been hesitant to be the one to do that because I really don't know MAS very well, and I know my previous experience with the rules left me wanting to integrate a slightly different strategic layer to the game (with global regions and base management, which were concepts that Jay hinted at in one MAS supplement that never happened). The battlescape would remain the same, but I would want to shift towards random (procedural) mission generation and away from the scenarios as the core strategic focus. "Darkest Dungeon meets XCOM" might be one way to phrase it.

In that vein, what else would you guys really like to see in the future for MAS? What do you like or dislike about the system? It sounds like blank plane cards or the ability to make your own planes is pretty near the top of your list.
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Re: New, some questions and suggestions.

Postby theCarthaginian » Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:10 am

The strategic suggestion sounds interesting.
Also the procedurally developed missions would be really handy.

If it's ok, I might try and put something together.

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Re: New, some questions and suggestions.

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Sun Jul 10, 2016 3:53 pm

Go ahead! The more the merrier!

What I kind of had in mind was to do a regional map where players choice a starting region and/or country, and that would determine what their starting plane selection would be. Then you could have a rarity system for planes so that a US-based MAS would have access to a different selection of planes than a Russian-based MAS.

The other idea I had with the regions was to have players base planes in each region and then when a mission "card" was pulled for that region they could then go ahead and bid for it. Only planes and gear currently in that region could respond and participate. There were two reasons I was looking at that. First, it gave a bit more base building meta game to build up your facilities and coverage. Second, it would open the door for long range bombers to be added to the game, as these units while more expensive could participate in combat in any region, or have a greater range to move up to X regions away if we wanted distance involved.

The non-player MAS could then be shifted to have one native to each region that you'd effectively be competing against with the goal of eventually dominating each region.

I'm not sure if that's something that's really viable, but it was the direction I was leaning towards if I had to tackle things.
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