The Omerth Crusade (Year 1, maybe more?)

Campaign Diaries & After Action Reports (AARs)
Post Reply
User avatar
BroAdso
Commander
Commander
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:27 am
Location: Richmond, VA

The Omerth Crusade (Year 1, maybe more?)

Post by BroAdso »

So, I decided to playtest a few elements of the ongoing Galaxies rules. I don't have a partner for this one, so it's a solo campaign and battle test.

The ideas I am testing are a more board-game style of proceeding through the phases in order rather than setting up all orders at the start of each turn, using a "4x" style start as default and generating the whole map from scratch, simplified system types, using a new set of ship values (starting with Corvettes at Cost 2 / CP 8 ), new rules for cripple-able fighters, single squadron combat, and a couple more (like shipyards not having slipways, but instead granting a construction capacity cap of PROD x 2).

Here are the first 12 turns and some narration!

Image
Initial forces include plenty of scouts for exploration. Both fleets chose a force to keep the peace in their home system and deter raids, but the Orks chose a huge Dreadnought which could be the flagship of the fleet they build up over the next few years. A bold risk!

Image
Turn 1 sees successful exploration by the Orks, who are regretting their reduced income compared to the Imperials caused by the high upkeep of their Dreadnought. Hopefully it'll pay off and the Imperials will be more at risk of a raid.

Image
The exploration luck seems to pass to the Imperials this turn, while both players make strategic purchases - a heavy Lunar cruiser as a flagship on the Imperial size, and more Savages to fill out their Scout maintenance group for the Orks. This is a bit quicker for the Orks, since their Savage DD costs less and builds faster than the Dauntless CL of the Imperials.

Image
Skipping forward to turn 6, more exploration is fairly successful and both forces have finished some important construction projects, like the Lunar cruiser. Both sides also decided to save for expensive projects - a colony fleet to establish outposts on some of their newly discovered systems, and Productivity increases on their homeworlds to increase both their base income and their trade income.

Image
By turn 12, the Imperial strategy is clearer - they want to beat the Orks to a tech increase, while the Orks are opting to build a maintenance group of Brute Ramship CTs to have a beats-all naval presence. The Imperials meant to build a second maintenance group of Dauntless CLs to have more Scouts available, but ended up needing those resources to increase the productivity of Majan's Rest and build their colony fleet and Lunar CA. This means they have three more Dauntless they can build without increasing their Maintenance, so you can bet they're going to do that. I note that I did the math wrong for the number of EP the Imperials will carry over to Turn 1 of Year 2, so I'll fix that - whoops.

Both have to choose going forward if they want to establish more Outposts, build a Colony fleet to transport Census to their existing outpost, or focus on exploration.

Comments? Ideas? Details you want posted? Would you prefer more "ingame" narrative? I'm not that familiar with the 40k universe of lore, but I could give that a shot.

I'll tweak which rules from Galaxies, clean up some of my math, and go to a different format for turn reports before starting the next year, so hit me with suggestions!
Attachments
OrksEmpirePracticeCampaign2.pdf
(966.76 KiB) Downloaded 203 times
User avatar
BroAdso
Commander
Commander
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:27 am
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: The Omerth Crusade (Year 1, maybe more?)

Post by BroAdso »

Here's some cleaned up math (including/especially maintenance costs under the new system, with Shields as a maint-only cost, and so on) and a better format for year two. Does this look cleaner? Each turn would have a "map page" and a "turn record" page, which you can see here with no orders for Year 2 Turn 1.

The "Units Available" page for Year 2
Image

The "turn record" page for Year 2 (no orders yet)
Image

The "map page" for Year 2
Image

A PDF for easy viewing...
Year2OmerthCrusade.pdf
(708.02 KiB) Downloaded 210 times
User avatar
Tyrel Lohr
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral
Posts: 1466
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:48 am
Location: Lusk, WY
Contact:

Re: The Omerth Crusade (Year 1, maybe more?)

Post by Tyrel Lohr »

  • I think the board game style play is going to be a major advance for the rules. Players could still draft comprehensive turn orders if they had to for PBEM play, but stepping through the sequence of play one phase at a time really make the game flow better. I just have to adapt to this different play style myself and figure out the best way to run through multiple empires at once.
  • Scout rates in the eXploration phase of the game seem to fairly optimistic, with a fairly decent amount of territory covered in the first year. I suspect by the end of Year 2 there is going to be contact between the Imperium and Orks.
  • I think your Homeworlds are a bit light on stats. I need to make the notes clearer and finish writing out the Homeworld section, but Homeworlds get +2 to Census, Morale, and Productivity to buff them a bit. That being said, this is a good test to see what happens when you have a vanilla major system. Maybe the +2 pop stats aren't strictly really necessary?
  • It would be nice to have a table that shows all of the systems that have been explored but not colonized to keep track of their stats.
  • I think that Dreadnought is going to be a big help for the Orks if they can find a point of contact early next year. Then they can rush to get a supply depot out there in the center of the map and push in for an invasion.
  • I was worried that putting the unexplored lanes on the map might make it too obvious where lines of contact were going to happen, but looking at your map I see possibilities for contact but they are by no means guaranteed. The three lanes that connect the Imperium to the system south of Uriah for example: that system down there could be a major travel nexus, or it might be a dead end, creating a very defensive pocket of space. Similarly, the system in the middle of the map could be a nexus of activity, or the main avenue of attack could still be waiting on the western edge of the map.
  • I think thing are progressing great, and the report style is nice. I like the color coding on the Year 2 sheets, too. It makes it clear what is happening each turn. I also really liked how you did the map because you can scroll through the PDF file and see a virtual time lapse of what happened from turn to turn when it comes to exploration and expansion. Very nice, indeed!
[i]"Touch not the pylons, for they are the messengers!"[/i]
User avatar
Tyrel Lohr
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral
Posts: 1466
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:48 am
Location: Lusk, WY
Contact:

Re: The Omerth Crusade (Year 1, maybe more?)

Post by Tyrel Lohr »

A quick question: are you still charging for repairs, or are they freely happening in the Supply/Repair Phase?
[i]"Touch not the pylons, for they are the messengers!"[/i]
User avatar
BroAdso
Commander
Commander
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:27 am
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: The Omerth Crusade (Year 1, maybe more?)

Post by BroAdso »

Tyrel Lohr wrote:A quick question: are you still charging for repairs, or are they freely happening in the Supply/Repair Phase?
Repairs cost as normal, but happen instantly and require a ship to be at a Supply Depot. On turn 4 of Year 2, I rolled the first Raider attack of the game, so I have to finish that up before I post anything else.
User avatar
BroAdso
Commander
Commander
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:27 am
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: The Omerth Crusade (Year 1, maybe more?)

Post by BroAdso »

So, as we move into year 2, the pace of exploration and expansion continues pretty much on par.

Image
Image

Image
Image

But the two empires are essentially engaged in a race to expand to their first colonies rather than outposts so they can increase their available income.

Image
Image

And then in Turn 4, Raiders attack Majan's rest! Fortunately, they are a smallish fleet, and between smart tactics and the presence of the Imperium's main battle group in the system, they are beaten off. However, three of the Cobra corvettes in the system are crippled and in need of repair. This is an additional economic burden the Imperium doesn't need in the middle of its neck-and-neck race for expansion with the Orks.

Image
Image
Image

Last two turns were similar - Imperials cripple a cobra to deal with the damage, Raiders get clobbered.

There seems to be a slight edge for the Orks right now, but the Imperials have revealed better systems in the course of their exploration. Soon we'll continue and try to complete the rest of Year 2! It seems likely the two sides will be in contact and begin warfare proper before the year is out.
User avatar
Tyrel Lohr
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral
Posts: 1466
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:48 am
Location: Lusk, WY
Contact:

Re: The Omerth Crusade (Year 1, maybe more?)

Post by Tyrel Lohr »

What's your thoughts on raiders in general? 1E had them attack and then disappear, but by the time 2E rolled around I had them as a persistent threat but one that could only be attacked when they attacked you.

Do you think a middle ground of persistent raiders that exist as an enemy fleet you can always generate encounters against and destroy is a better solution? Or is the 2E approach fine?

I had a few 1.5E games where they were basically a static enemy fleet, and that led to some consternation especially when they hit an important world and (in those days) dropped their output to zero and became a major nuisance for themselves. I forget who offered the suggestion, but I think reducing the raider contested systems to 1/2 output is probably better in that regard.
[i]"Touch not the pylons, for they are the messengers!"[/i]
User avatar
aelius
Commander
Commander
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2010 1:51 am

Re: The Omerth Crusade (Year 1, maybe more?)

Post by aelius »

I suggested that for a blockaded system, but I think it works well for a raider fleet as well.
Also I think that you should be able to engage a raider fleet in system if you have Police functions in the fleet. You should probably need an amount equal to a fraction of the raiders CC. Not sure what fraction though. Half seems like to much, but a quarter seems light.
4. Killing is not too good for my enemies
Evil Overlords Survival Guide
User avatar
BroAdso
Commander
Commander
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:27 am
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: The Omerth Crusade (Year 1, maybe more?)

Post by BroAdso »

Back soon! The election campaigns are keeping me stupid busy most weekends but they'll be over soon. I probably won't resume this campaign, though - once I have to walk away for like 3 weeks it's hard to get back into the spirit. Plus, I love the changes that have evolved to Galaxies, which already looks different from when I began working on this playtest.

In the meantime, here's a quick look at the world at the start of Year 3:

Image
User avatar
BroAdso
Commander
Commander
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:27 am
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: The Omerth Crusade (Year 1, maybe more?)

Post by BroAdso »

Tyrel Lohr wrote:What's your thoughts on raiders in general? 1E had them attack and then disappear, but by the time 2E rolled around I had them as a persistent threat but one that could only be attacked when they attacked you.

Do you think a middle ground of persistent raiders that exist as an enemy fleet you can always generate encounters against and destroy is a better solution? Or is the 2E approach fine?

I had a few 1.5E games where they were basically a static enemy fleet, and that led to some consternation especially when they hit an important world and (in those days) dropped their output to zero and became a major nuisance for themselves. I forget who offered the suggestion, but I think reducing the raider contested systems to 1/2 output is probably better in that regard.
I generated one more raid and also squished it, so hard to say how these approaches work. One thing that needs to be addressed is whether there's a way to replace the Escorts/Trader mechanics and ability in the Galaxies world where there's no squadrons to restrict exactly what the player brings in to fight the Raiders. The new scenario Commerce Raid you're working on could certainly do that trick.

I'd gravitate to static-fleet, since that means the player would still have to move ships off the front lines to attack them and doesn't create some kind of weird meta-game of remembering which systems have raider fleets present in the wings, etc.
User avatar
Tyrel Lohr
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral
Posts: 1466
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:48 am
Location: Lusk, WY
Contact:

Re: The Omerth Crusade (Year 1, maybe more?)

Post by Tyrel Lohr »

BroAdso wrote:I'd gravitate to static-fleet, since that means the player would still have to move ships off the front lines to attack them and doesn't create some kind of weird meta-game of remembering which systems have raider fleets present in the wings, etc.
Then we'll go with static fleets, and I'll update the Galaxies doc accordingly. That way they are always there and can always be attacked, but with an added caveat that you there is a max ship size in battles that involve raiders. The more I think about it the more I think the Convoy Raid probably doesn't need to exist as a separate scenario, but we can make sure that the only scenario that they can be involved in is a special Pursuit scenario without reinforcements. The rest of the special rules can be baked into the Raiding rules, with the scenarios happening then if there are still any raiders around.

I just don't want players to be sending battleships out to hunt down raider fleets, or using battleships to defend convoys. It's just silly and trivializes raider threats. Although I might be overthinking things, and battleships might be rare enough that this isn't really going to come up very often.

The Q-Ship ability kind of steps on the toes of the easiest implementation of the Escort/Trade ability. The Trade ability really existed from the beginning to handle the B5 Pak'ma'ra where all their ships are supposed do double duty as trading ships and warships. Maybe Trade ships could get a cheap Scout bonus against raiders? Like a +1 Scout for each Trade ship? That or they could give a bonus to commerce income in systems -- but that would require a lot of extra tracking that I don't particularly find appealing.
[i]"Touch not the pylons, for they are the messengers!"[/i]
User avatar
BroAdso
Commander
Commander
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:27 am
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: The Omerth Crusade (Year 1, maybe more?)

Post by BroAdso »

Tyrel Lohr wrote:...we can make sure that the only scenario that they can be involved in is a special Pursuit scenario without reinforcements. The rest of the special rules can be baked into the Raiding rules, with the scenarios happening then if there are still any raiders around.
Seems great. I'm all for simplicity in generating encounters. However, since there are relatively few types of Scenarios in the new Galaxies rules, the idea that this could simply be a different Encounter type doesn't strike me as unnecessarily complex.
Tyrel Lohr wrote:The Q-Ship ability kind of steps on the toes of the easiest implementation of the Escort/Trade ability. The Trade ability really existed from the beginning to handle the B5 Pak'ma'ra where all their ships are supposed do double duty as trading ships and warships. Maybe Trade ships could get a cheap Scout bonus against raiders? Like a +1 Scout for each Trade ship? That or they could give a bonus to commerce income in systems -- but that would require a lot of extra tracking that I don't particularly find appealing.
I would suggest that Trade ships can always be included in scenarios against Raiders at no command cost. That doesn't require much tracking, is roughly in line with the moderate increase in maintenance cost Trade entails, and is in line with the idea that their presence can help to defend convoys. As for Q-Ship as opposed to trade...I never used it, so I can't give much input on how to change it.
User avatar
Tyrel Lohr
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral
Posts: 1466
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:48 am
Location: Lusk, WY
Contact:

Re: The Omerth Crusade (Year 1, maybe more?)

Post by Tyrel Lohr »

BroAdso wrote:Seems great. I'm all for simplicity in generating encounters. However, since there are relatively few types of Scenarios in the new Galaxies rules, the idea that this could simply be a different Encounter type doesn't strike me as unnecessarily complex.
I did return Interception as an option for the system owner only, just as the Defensive scenario can now only be demanded by a non-system owner, so we have that scenario back in the mix! But I agree, we do have a limited number of scenarios. I just didn't feel that a Breakout scenario adds that much to the game, although then again maybe it does? I still need to finish porting over the rules we discussed for blockades. At that point I might change my tune :)

I'll leave the Convoy Raid in for now, then, and we can see if it survives playtesting.
Tyrel Lohr wrote:I would suggest that Trade ships can always be included in scenarios against Raiders at no command cost. That doesn't require much tracking, is roughly in line with the moderate increase in maintenance cost Trade entails, and is in line with the idea that their presence can help to defend convoys. As for Q-Ship as opposed to trade...I never used it, so I can't give much input on how to change it.
I thought about that, but that creates the exploit where a player puts Trade on all of his units so that an unlimited number of ships can be included in the scenario. There's also the possibility of us just rolling Q-Ship and Trade into the same ability, leave it called Trade, and then just make a note that Trade can represent either a merchant marine vessel or a Q-Ship, with the same bonus that you can include one in your task force at no command cost for each convoy already in the task force.

I do worry about sometimes making rules too simplistic, or cutting complexity. I think I erred too far in that direction with 2E. These combat changes for Galaxies do seem to be addressing one of the core 1E problems of battles being too deadly for both sides, and looking back at old campaign diaries it seems like most of the encounters I fought in those games would still be accommodated by the new CSCR without any real problems.
[i]"Touch not the pylons, for they are the messengers!"[/i]
Post Reply