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ThePayneTrayn

Voluntary De-Compression and Zero Crew Repair Rolls

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We had this come up in a game today: My opponent's Tier 1 ship had zero crew, and several hazard markers. I assaulted, and he de-compressed, and fended off my assault. A failure to repair any hazard marker would reduce his hull to half, giving me +2 BL. For end of the turn repairs, who counts as having created the hazard tokens for the purposes of determining who reduces the ship to half hull? If it does matter, what order do you do it in? 

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Generally, everyone ignores the rule which states:

Important Note: Sometimes a model may be Destroyed by an event rather than an opponent’s actions, for example a Collision with a Terrain piece. In these cases, the Commander’s Battle Log is reduced for losing the model if appropriate, but the opponent’s is not increased as they did not Destroy it.

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Generally, everyone ignores the rule which states:

Important Note: Sometimes a model may be Destroyed by an event rather than an opponent’s actions, for example a Collision with a Terrain piece. In these cases, the Commander’s Battle Log is reduced for losing the model if appropriate, but the opponent’s is not increased as they did not Destroy it.

 

I've always interpreted this very narrowly to specifically refer to ship "destruction" reduction to half hull or half squad strength I feel still awards BL.

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I'm gonna be awkward and say that, though the enemy launched the boarding action, the controlling player decided to decompress his ship (so gaining Hazard Markers which are indeed fatal to ships that have lost their crews). Therefore, if the target of the boarding action (a Tier 1) is lost thanks to all those lovely Hazard Markers, the controlling player loses 4BL points, but the enemy player gains nothing. They didn't take the ship, they didn't (presumably) do enough to destroy it either. It was the controlling player's action (decompression) that resulted in that ship's loss, not the enemy boarding attack. This also applies to damaging ships over time, so if the Tier 1 ship dropped below half initial HP because of the Hazard Markers it gained from decompression (the controlling player's action), the opponent would also get no points. The opponent didn't do the damage. 

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I find it so much easier to just ignore the rule and give BL to the person who didnt lose a ship. It opens up all sorts of causal relationships, "my actions caused you to choose that response which in turn killed your ship"

Technically you also could argue that dropping mines on your own ships first turn would be tactically advantageous. "No you didnt kill my battleship, you only did 7 points of damage, the first was me so my actions caused it to be destroyed at that point, no BL for you"

The idea of potentially avoiding defeat by crashing your own ships is also dumb, "admiral we appear to be winning but one of our carriers has taken damage"

"Crash the carrier into that moon! We'll show them whose boss"

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@DanSG-19: I don't think anyone is arguing that what you said is not RAW; I'm saying it's generally ignored. The application of this "Important Note" is arbitrary and open to abuse. In this case, do you want to track the source of each Hazard Marker?

The best example I can give for abuse is this: you've finally gotten my Dindrenzi Dreadnought down to 1HP, and it also has three Corrosive markers. I activate it, and diliberately Collide with a Planetoid, deliberately destroying it. Are you going to be satisfied with me losing 4 Battlelog, as you did 11HP of damage, while I self-inflicted 1HP? Shouldn't you receive the +6 Battlelog for the destruction of such a powerful enemy vessel in the middle of a combat engagement?

Also remember, thematically, the Battlelog "provides a measure of how your fleet is faring against the enemy." Why would the source of an enemy vessel's destruction change this metric?

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That is why I only interpret it to be related to environmental destruction. Not the "half" points.

That being said I would be fine if a future update simply awarded BL to your enemy whenever you suffered damage or were destroyed regardless of the origin. Multi-Fleet battles would need additional guidelines but they aren't standard games anyways.

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I'm gonna be awkward and say that, though the enemy launched the boarding action, the controlling player decided to decompress his ship (so gaining Hazard Markers which are indeed fatal to ships that have lost their crews). Therefore, if the target of the boarding action (a Tier 1) is lost thanks to all those lovely Hazard Markers, the controlling player loses 4BL points, but the enemy player gains nothing. They didn't take the ship, they didn't (presumably) do enough to destroy it either. It was the controlling player's action (decompression) that resulted in that ship's loss, not the enemy boarding attack. This also applies to damaging ships over time, so if the Tier 1 ship dropped below half initial HP because of the Hazard Markers it gained from decompression (the controlling player's action), the opponent would also get no points. The opponent didn't do the damage. 

What if the ship already has existing hazard markers (in this case, I want to say he had four hazards prior to the boarding attempt)? How do you decide which one gets the priority, so to speak?

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That's why we decided to go with Victory Points for the upcoming 2v2 event in January. Simply add up VP, and split between both players on the side. Also, this whole issue doesn't apply:

Instead, after a game has ended both players are awarded Victory Points by adding together the Points Costs of enemy models which have been Destroyed or otherwise removed from the Game Board.

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Wouldn't each hazard marker (and any offsoring lol) be the result of a specific action. So each hazard marker in this case be rolled for separately! As the owning player, if you're going for BL determination, you just hope its your own hazard marker that causes the demise. Of course if you have multiple HP loss from hazards and the ship is on its last HP then it comes down to Hazard HP 'difference'. In the case of a tie one solution is to split the BL loss and gain. You partially killed your own ship so don't feel so bad and the opponent partially killed so feels somewhat happy!

More sensibly BL should be awarded and gained as if the opponent had destroyed the ship. After all if a ships on 1 HP due to enemy fire, then crashing it into a nearby moon (that's NO moon!) which results in its demise kind of happened due to the degradation in the first place. Morale and tactical boost goes to the opponent. That's something for v3 however as the rules currently say you can risk your own ship and deny BL from your opponent. Daft but currently the way it is!

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That's why we decided to go with Victory Points for the upcoming 2v2 event in January. Simply add up VP, and split between both players on the side. Also, this whole issue doesn't apply:

 

 

Personally I hate the victory point model.  I feel it disincentives looking at squadrons as whole units and generally shifts play towards raw destructive power rather than achieving tactical advantage in the broader scope of a war setting.   

I would continue to use Battlelog but award Battelog to the player on the side with the lowest current Battlelog score.  That way any excess BL is less likely to bump into the cap and the teams overall BL should reflect their cooperative effort.  Just my opinion.

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Personally I hate the victory point model. I feel it disincentives looking at squadrons as whole units and generally shifts play towards raw destructive power rather than achieving tactical advantage in the broader scope of a war setting.

I agree completely, but Victory Points simplifies thing too much for a 2v2 Event, where you are randomly paired every round with a new teammate. The overall winner will have the most VP at the end.

Our playtest experience shows that the VP system does not encourage Shunt Escape, but it is more rewarding to Capture. In fact, I like how the VP system scales the capture reward based on what you capture. A captured Trader Cruiser should not be worth as much as Dreadnought, but that is how it works with the battlelog system.

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I agree completely, but Victory Points simplifies thing too much for a 2v2 Event, where you are randomly paired every round with a new teammate. The overall winner will have the most VP at the end.

Our playtest experience shows that the VP system does not encourage Shunt Escape, but it is more rewarding to Capture. In fact, I like how the VP system scales the capture reward based on what you capture. A captured Trader Cruiser should not be worth as much as Dreadnought, but that is how it works with the battlelog system.

 

Capturing a Cruiser is worth 1BL, plus potentially 4 more if it is the last ship in a squadron.

 

Capturing a Dreadnought is worth 1BL+half starting HP, usually 5-6.

 

In almost every case capturing a Dread is worth more than capturing a Cruiser?

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I'm referring to this bonus with Battlelog:

Fold Space Escape a Captured model; +2 Battlelog

Verses how Victory Points handles it:

Double the Points Cost of any models which have been Captured and taken into Fold Space.

For example, a 60 point Cruiser is nominally worth 2 Battlelog when destroyed, and 2 more if captured and escaped. With Victory Points, its 60 points when destroyed, and 60 more points when captured and escaped.

A 300 point Dreadnought is worth about +7/-4 Battlelog when destroyed, and +9/-4 if captured and escaped. With Victory points, its 300 points when destroyed, and 300 more points if captured and escaped.

In other words, Battlelog encourages you to destroy big ships, while Victory Points encourages you to capture them... Battlelog basically encourages you to capture Cruisers and other weak T2 targets.

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My standpoint on the rule comes from not having to play games against nutters who like to drive ships into planets in order to avoid giving up BL points on destruction. I'm guessing things are different everywhere else if the majority of people replying to this thread have to ignore a rule altogether to avoid people purposefully killing their own ships via planetoid. 

 

As for the point on Hazard Markers, create one pile for enemy inflicted Hazard Markers, and another for self inflicted Hazard Markers (via De-compression or driving into asteroids and so on...). Roll for each pile separately at the end of the turn. You may need to stock up on Hazard Markers. 

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I think the "I drive my own ship into a planetoid" is mostly an example to show how easily this rule can be abused (although I would not be surprised if it actually happend to some people). But lets say that you shot my dreadnought down to 1 HP and it risks flying through an asteroid field to savely power up its FSD. It rolls a 1 for its manoeuver test and is destroyed. Would you be happy with not getting any BL for it? Does it make sense to you that the death of the enemy dreadnought shouldn't count for your victory?

 

And one more thing: If you seperate hazard markers (which sounds like an annoying thing to do; this game already comes with a lot of marker management), do you keep track of who did how many HP-damage, too? Because I think it would only be consistent that if one player partly destroys his own ship, the other player should never be allowed to get the whole BL points for it.

 

See, I don't want to deny you your opinion or interpretation of the rules (if you and your friends have a good time, you're doing everything right) and I know that you probably play more by the book than I do in this regard, but I just find that rule to be not well thought-through and also nonsensical. If it is your mission to get that ship mostly intact than sure, no BL for its destruction (regardless of who destroyed it), but if it is your mission to beat your opponents forces than I think a dead enemy ship should be a thing in your favour, i.e. give you BL points.

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I think the "I drive my own ship into a planetoid" is mostly an example to show how easily this rule can be abused (although I would not be surprised if it actually happend to some people). But lets say that you shot my dreadnought down to 1 HP and it risks flying through an asteroid field to savely power up its FSD. It rolls a 1 for its manoeuver test and is destroyed. Would you be happy with not getting any BL for it? Does it make sense to you that the death of the enemy dreadnought shouldn't count for your victory?

 

And one more thing: If you seperate hazard markers (which sounds like an annoying thing to do; this game already comes with a lot of marker management), do you keep track of who did how many HP-damage, too? Because I think it would only be consistent that if one player partly destroys his own ship, the other player should never be allowed to get the whole BL points for it.

 

See, I don't want to deny you your opinion or interpretation of the rules (if you and your friends have a good time, you're doing everything right) and I know that you probably play more by the book than I do in this regard, but I just find that rule to be not well thought-through and also nonsensical. If it is your mission to get that ship mostly intact than sure, no BL for its destruction (regardless of who destroyed it), but if it is your mission to beat your opponents forces than I think a dead enemy ship should be a thing in your favour, i.e. give you BL points.

we play it so that many will drive that ship into the asteroids to try and finish it off so your opponent doesn't get the BL points, I hate that though. The rule seems to be in place for stuff like "oh hey, I lost half my frigates to asteroids accidentally" more than avoiding giving up BL. That said, it's pretty unambiguous in the rules

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My gaminggroup ignore that rule, simply because we find the rule 1) ambiguous 2) stupid.

 

What difference does it make for the admirals/BL if the last HP of a battleship is removed as a consequence of enemy shooting, or by crashing into a planet? The battleship is removed from the game either way, and one admiral just lost a ship while the other admiral no longer has to worry about it.

 

With that said, we dont play with "voluntary decompression" either, eventhough our local Ryushi-player really *really* wants too. :P

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With that said, we dont play with "voluntary decompression" either, eventhough our local Ryushi-player really *really* wants too. :P

Of course he does, as it will only benefit him. The worst case scenario is you self-inflicted three hazard markers. Does anyone care about having hazard markers? No? Oh…

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Yeah, in general we hate and do not use Voluntary Decompression. Building a fleet to board is a fairly heavy commitment - a Directorate fleet is usually running several squadrons specifically to board and then cyberwarfare and ARTs and sacrificing a lot of other potent tools to be able to do it well - and a decompression can bounce a capture attempt (and that's one of the main reasons for building a boarding heavy fleet, the BL and other impacts of capturing), at times the only board attempt that they've spent 2-3 turns setting up. Remember, they could have just been shooting you for HP rather than plinking around your CP and just blown you up instead.

 

For fleets that don't have the options to build so boarding heavy (and thus often lack ways of stripping enemy CP, which could make the hazard markers dangerous) it basically just turns off the AP stat. You roll 12 boarding dice getting ~8hits. They roll 6 dice back, getting 4 hits, decompress for 2 more and you've scored about a hit on a cruiser.

 

I think FSA benefits a great deal from having boarding and capturing as viable options, because they in turn create more game space to explore such as crew points and then weapons that affect crew like biohazard and cyberwarfare and ARTs which in turn are very flavourful to have in the setting. Consider a game where Terrans face Dindrenzi, does anyone really care what their CP stat is? If decompression starts leading to situations where casually boarding becomes a waste of time because it never works anyway, CP isn't being degraded to take advantage of the hazard so only random crits would impact it anyway then you're left with largely redundant AP and CP stats. It doesn't help that often a Battleship often can't board a frigate (7AP vs 1AP and a squadron giving 3PD vs 2CP, about 5 hits on the attack, 3 cancelled leaving 2, which just equal CP to take out the frigate on average...meaning it would take 1 extra PD or one dice being fickle to make that a failure even ignoring voluntary decompression).

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i also dont see the reason for this Rule and prefer to ignore it in housegames.

If my enemy decomp. and get destoyed from it it was because of a Boarding attack.

If my enemy flyes into a Planet or Asteriod Field with 1 hull point left because he fears to get boarded and tourtord or dont want to fly manoverless in space for the rest of their lifetime and want to avoid a slow death it is also because of the dmg it allready recieved.

The ship is destroyed and cant fight anymore, not in this battle and not in another later.

 

You also dont have to track which makers where from which source and it doesnt support cheesy gameplay.  

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I finally figured out why the term scuttle has always bothered me when it comes to capturing the ship. Here is the definition:

sink (one's own ship) deliberately by holing it or opening its seacocks to let water in.

Maybe if voluntary decompression became Scuttle: when boarded, you can declare a Scuttle action. The targeted ship is destroyed, and your opponent still counts as launching an assault.

Generally they try to evacuate the crew first, though, and there is no mechanic for that in the game.

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