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4 hours ago, Toxic_Rat said:

Ramming would only be done under the most dire of circumstances.  As @alextroy pointed out, the crew would like to go home.  Plus the cost in producing these ships would result in more emergency jumps than we currently see in game play.

That is acknowledged.  In most cases, the crew is either mostly dead, and going to die along with the ship soon anyway, and without enough weapons to do much of anything left, all one can do is ram.  It would be a case where escape is impossible or improbable.  Might as well set off a Genesis Device and quote ancient texts while doing so, since that's all one can do with what you have.

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First thing I wish to point out is that the Hammer head frigate from Star Wars was made specifically to ram. There is a big  difference between ramming with a ship made to do so and one that is not. 

18 hours ago, Toxic_Rat said:

Plus the cost in producing these ships would result in more emergency jumps than we currently see in game play.

Ships can be replaced, experienced crews cannot be. Which is also the reason why I would have ships with escape pods.

That would be a cool campaign rule. You can collect the escape pods to retain the experience of the destroyed ship.

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2 hours ago, Skyhawk said:

Ships can be replaced, experienced crews cannot be. Which is also the reason why I would have ships with escape pods.

That would be a cool campaign rule. You can collect the escape pods to retain the experience of the destroyed ship.

We've been experimenting with this on the home table, both with general crews as well as higher ranked officials. We've also tried running a campaign with a set amount of each ship (3 dreadnoughts, 6 battleships, 24 cruiser squadrons etc) to try and make FSD escapes more of a viable option. It needs a lot of tweaking, but that's the nature of making your own campaigns. The FSD escape option, at least right now is a way of minimizing battle record losses

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18 hours ago, Skyhawk said:

First thing I wish to point out is that the Hammer head frigate from Star Wars was made specifically to ram. There is a big  difference between ramming with a ship made to do so and one that is not. 

Yeah, good point.  That scene was one of my favorites in the movie.  Forcing a ship to change its heading would lead to some interesting activation's.

18 hours ago, Skyhawk said:

Ships can be replaced, experienced crews cannot be. Which is also the reason why I would have ships with escape pods.

This is true, assuming that you were the victor.  Otherwise you'll be lucky to spend the rest of the war in a POW camp.  

A campaign system really would be helpful here.  We've been using the following house rule for seriously damaged ships:

Quote

 

Heavily Damaged Ships

A heavily damaged ship may need to make an escape if it is in danger of being destroyed outright.  Check this condition if:

  • The ship is Large size and has 2 HP or less remaining
  • The ship is Medium size and has 1 HP remaining
  • Small size ships do not check for this condition

Make a Basic 2d6 roll, and add in the number of Disorder markers present on the ship.  If the result is 8 or higher, the ship gains a Hyperspace Drive marker, and will make an Emergency Hyperspace Jump at the end of the current round.

 

Adds a bit of tension when your lead cruiser has to make a hasty exit.  :)

 

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I like that house rule!  I've never liked the hyperspace jump rules.  I'd probably reverse the disorder marker part of the rule to make it harder as the ships crew are "disordered", so that captain barking the order to retreat would probably fall on deaf ears... or something

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5 hours ago, vorman87 said:

I like that house rule!  I've never liked the hyperspace jump rules.  I'd probably reverse the disorder marker part of the rule to make it harder as the ships crew are "disordered", so that captain barking the order to retreat would probably fall on deaf ears... or something

I dunno...is it more likely a panicking crew would be eager to leave, or that the proper commands don't make it to the right people?  I suppose you could make an argument either way.  We went with the first.

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33 minutes ago, Toxic_Rat said:

I dunno...is it more likely a panicking crew would be eager to leave, or that the proper commands don't make it to the right people?  I suppose you could make an argument either way.  We went with the first.

You raise a strong point, and whether or not my idea really supported the intended purpose of clearing crippled models and giving that fold drive more significance

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I dont know,  space is vast, I mean VAST, like V A S T!, even on orbits of planets is so much space that fighting at knife-point distance does not make sense for larger ships. Taking into account speed of the ships, their advanced navigational and computing systems I personally do not see any, even hypothetical, reason for ramming in space.

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5 hours ago, Toxic_Rat said:

I dunno...is it more likely a panicking crew would be eager to leave, or that the proper commands don't make it to the right people?  I suppose you could make an argument either way.  We went with the first.

Well, I guess it depends on if you have a Disordered Ship/Crew, or a Disordered Squadron.  The two are not really the same thing.  A Disordered Squadron, may not have any Disordered Ship/Crew, the ships are working just fine on their own, but their communication is either disrupted or the Captains are having a spat.  A Disordered Ship could have internal communication problems, having fires, or half the crew are ready to mutiny.

A Disordered Squadron should have difficulty Linking/Combining Fire or coordinating their Point Defense.  Jumping out together should also have a difficulty, even having coordinated movement (and possibly avoiding each other if in close movement).

A Disordered Ship/Crew obviously would be Disordered from the Squadron, but may also have difficulty directing its movement (pilot is dazed, trying to avoid getting shot, or the controls are hashed, etc), firing its Weapons in a cohesive manner (weapon mounts are not receiving proper commands, energy/ammo feeds are damaged, etc), and even jumping out would be a challenge .

6 minutes ago, sleeping_squirrel said:

I dont know,  space is vast, I mean VAST, like V A S T!, even on orbits of planets is so much space that fighting at knife-point distance does not make sense for larger ships. Taking into account speed of the ships, their advanced navigational and computing systems I personally do not see any, even hypothetical, reason for ramming in space.

Just because space is "vast" doesn't mean that the area you are operating in is  equally vast.  Usually when people talk about space being really vast, it's more on the order of just finding the target in the first place.

Proportionally speaking, the ocean was a vast place to sailors who could only rely on the oar or the sail to move.  Finding another ship to attack on the open sea should have been difficult, unless you knew where to look.

But once you engage, it's really not that hard to narrow down where the other ship is, and possibly hit them.  Speed and ability to change vectors are more of a factor than distance when it comes to collisions.  Attempting to set up a mid-air collision between fighter jets is actually a pretty daunting task, yet pilots still manage to do it.

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35 minutes ago, Charistoph said:

Just because space is "vast" doesn't mean that the area you are operating in is  equally vast.  Usually when people talk about space being really vast, it's more on the order of just finding the target in the first place.

Proportionally speaking, the ocean was a vast place to sailors who could only rely on the oar or the sail to move.  Finding another ship to attack on the open sea should have been difficult, unless you knew where to look.

But once you engage, it's really not that hard to narrow down where the other ship is, and possibly hit them.  Speed and ability to change vectors are more of a factor than distance when it comes to collisions.  Attempting to set up a mid-air collision between fighter jets is actually a pretty daunting task, yet pilots still manage to do it.

As an example, one of the smallest operating areas might be high orbit around Earth - volume of the sphere is about  200.000.000.000.000 km3 (I am not mathematician nor astrophysicist, so please take this as rough info only). Fighting would take lower then even some satelites are orbiting. Even in this micro tiny operational area is enough space to have your computer avoid collisions (your enemiess computers will be doing the same) or your computers preventing of being target of ramming. I understand it is hypothetical problem only but in my opinion when there is technology to actually fight in space there is more than enought computing power/artificial inteligence which can safely prevent your ship being target of primitive attacks like ramming would be. (again, what is the speed of laser as other way of attacking someone in space in popular movies/books? :-)

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1 minute ago, sleeping_squirrel said:

As an example, one of the smallest operating areas might be high orbit around Earth - volume of the sphere is about  200.000.000.000.000 km3 (I am not mathematician nor astrophysicist, so please take this as rough info only). Fighting would take lower then even some satelites are orbiting. Even in this micro tiny operational area is enough space to have your computer avoid collisions (your enemiess computers will be doing the same) or your computers preventing of being target of ramming. I understand it is hypothetical problem only but in my opinion when there is technology to actually fight in space there is more than enought computing power/artificial inteligence which can safely prevent your ship being target of primitive attacks like ramming would be. :-)

And if the computer or sensor is damaged?  Or no one can hear the collision notification over all the other chaos that is happening on the ship (or worse, turned off), or because of other things trying to collide with your ship (like torpedoes)?

Realistically, in order to actually ram, you either have to approach at an unavoidable speed from a narrow distance, or your target just cannot avoid it due to a variety of reasons.

Is it extremely difficult to pull off?   No doubt.  Impossible to pull off?  People often do several "impossible" things a day.  Admittedly, it may not be something that can be tracked on a die roll, even a d100.

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@Toxic_Rat We've done a test game on the home table combining your warpout mechanics with Stoobert's (it might not be his invention but that's where I first heard it) idea for a 'compromised' status at half hull points, rather than lowering statistics as the ship takes damage. I found this sped up my games by an hour easy now that we're familiar with the rules, but in a way that kept every ship deadly (maybe moreso!) and made the combat a lot more explosive once you get near half hull, all without changing any attack dice. Thumbs up on this playtest! It kept a relthozan battlecruiser from lining up a killing shot on my dread :D

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18 hours ago, sleeping_squirrel said:

Even in this micro tiny operational area is enough space to have your computer avoid collisions (your enemiess computers will be doing the same) or your computers preventing of being target of ramming.

How fast is your ship? How big is it? How big is the ramming ship, how fast is it going? An Apollo battleship would be nearly a mile in length. That is a big target.

Also would you really want a computer to take control away from your pilot in the middle of a battle? That could be devastating. Just saying.

@Wolfgang Jannesen Maybe if I ever get a game I'll try them out myself.

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4 hours ago, Skyhawk said:

How fast is your ship? How big is it? How big is the ramming ship, how fast is it going? An Apollo battleship would be nearly a mile in length. That is a big target.

Also would you really want a computer to take control away from your pilot in the middle of a battle? That could be devastating. Just saying.

@Wolfgang Jannesen Maybe if I ever get a game I'll try them out myself.

That are all good questions, of course. But most important is on what distance is fighting going on and how advanced are "radars" and if there is any reason at all to go any closer than necessary. And again, I agree, it is only hypothetical discussion because we do not know important parametres.

Only part I disagree with is: Also would you really want a computer to take control away from your pilot in the middle of a battle? T- YES - I would NEED an advanced computer to take over all controls during battle over long distances in very fast speeds in extremely fast changing environment. From human perspective, I am merely a creature which evolved from early primates, why should a combat computer created for one specific task - to conduct a battle - wait until I "push a button"?

But of course, another aproach for a game is to have more cinematic - aerial/naval like - type of fighting with captains, crew etc. And I like that to.

This is only my contribution why I feel collisions/ramming in space is highly unrealistic.

 

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If your directorate with totally unmanned vessels, sure. Everybody else is going to be using (I'm assuming) a traditional operations room and battle bridge. If we treat all human fleets as just being bigger earth navies, we can assume that control of the ships movements passes through the captain, probably a whole suite of navigators, then hitting the helmsman and the officer in charge of overseeing helm maneuvers. I don't think anyone is panicking an hitting a button with a chain of command attached to every order and specific officers enlisted to oversee the proper execution of these orders. 

Also remember that these ships are humongous, individual ability to carry out initiative-based maneuvers is absolutely non-existent. If this ship is performing any maneuver, it's with the crew as a wholentrying to achieve that action.

(Have to find the link on my desktop, placeholder text)

heres a pdf describing the current organization of an operations room to back up my point

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14 hours ago, Wolfgang Jannesen said:

@Toxic_Rat We've done a test game on the home table combining your warpout mechanics with Stoobert's (it might not be his invention but that's where I first heard it) idea for a 'compromised' status at half hull points, rather than lowering statistics as the ship takes damage. I found this sped up my games by an hour easy now that we're familiar with the rules, but in a way that kept every ship deadly (maybe moreso!) and made the combat a lot more explosive once you get near half hull, all without changing any attack dice. Thumbs up on this playtest!

Which movement system were you using?  Standard FSA, the 'pivot' method, @Stoobert's single measurement, or something else?

Quote

It kept a relthozan battlecruiser from lining up a killing shot on my dread :D

Then obviously you were playing it wrong.  It's sad news when my favored Relthoza are missing their shots.  ;) 

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6 hours ago, sleeping_squirrel said:

That are all good questions, of course. But most important is on what distance is fighting going on and how advanced are "radars" and if there is any reason at all to go any closer than necessary. And again, I agree, it is only hypothetical discussion because we do not know important parametres.

Only part I disagree with is: Also would you really want a computer to take control away from your pilot in the middle of a battle? T- YES - I would NEED an advanced computer to take over all controls during battle over long distances in very fast speeds in extremely fast changing environment. From human perspective, I am merely a creature which evolved from early primates, why should a combat computer created for one specific task - to conduct a battle - wait until I "push a button"?

But of course, another aproach for a game is to have more cinematic - aerial/naval like - type of fighting with captains, crew etc. And I like that to.

This is only my contribution why I feel collisions/ramming in space is highly unrealistic.

 

Distance doesn't matter as much as vectors (i.e. direction and speed) and mobility (ability to alter your own vector).  The distance an aircraft needs to react to a collision opportunity (to engage or avoid) is vastly greater than it would be in a sailing ship largely due to vectors involved.

52 minutes ago, Wolfgang Jannesen said:

If your directorate with totally unmanned vessels, sure. Everybody else is going to be using (I'm assuming) a traditional operations room and battle bridge. If we treat all human fleets as just being bigger earth navies, we can assume that control of the ships movements passes through the captain, probably a whole suite of navigators, then hitting the helmsman and the officer in charge of overseeing helm maneuvers. I don't think anyone is panicking an hitting a button with a chain of command attached to every order and specific officers enlisted to oversee the proper execution of these orders. 

Also remember that these ships are humongous, individual ability to carry out initiative-based maneuvers is absolutely non-existent. If this ship is performing any maneuver, it's with the crew as a wholentrying to achieve that action.

(Have to find the link on my desktop, placeholder text)

heres a pdf describing the current organization of an operations room to back up my point

Not really.  It is quite possible for 90% of the surviving crew of a ship to have absolutely no idea that a collision is coming.  Usually its surviving bridge crew and CIC/Operations where the sensor readers are who are the ones in the know (and the ones who initiate the collision alarm).  When you are in a chaotic situation, it can be easy for one miss important things like collision alarms (if they even go off).  And if you are focused on several other, more important targets, it can be quite easy to miss a crippled craft that hasn't responded for a minute or two.

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As @Wolfgang Jannesen said the fighting of a modern ship is run by more than just one person. Computers will only do what they are programed to do, nothing more nothing less. What happens when something happens that its not programed to react to? You cannot predict what will happen during a battle. A human crew may freeze, but they can recover from it.  

Is ramming improbable yes, is it impossible, absolutely not. Nothing is impossible.

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@Toxic_Rat We've been using regular movement with the spartan green tool, works out easy enough for us that we haven't tried changing that yet. The Pivot system is something I only glanced at so far but when I test it I'll definitely provide feedback. That battlecruiser only failed because my Dread had won its last check to stay on the field and he had 4 dice too many coming for my aft arc. Unfortunately the swarming urge is a surviving urge and they decided to get away in one piece ;) We were pretty lucky to have a duel of crew morale deciding that side of the table, really put those rules to the test

For the rest of the thread, I'm comfortable giving up the topic of adding ramming into Firestorm, with the amount of improbability we can agree on I think we're safer assuming a collision in space is always bad

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17 hours ago, Wolfgang Jannesen said:

For the rest of the thread, I'm comfortable giving up the topic of adding ramming into Firestorm, with the amount of improbability we can agree on I think we're safer assuming a collision in space is always bad

I think we should do the same with humans piloting spaceships part as well. 

I've been eye balling a fantasy game here recently, and it has a rather unique activation method. Rather than using the I move my army you move you army, or I move a unit you move a unit method , it has whats called activation rolls. For every unit you wish to activate on your turn you roll a pair of die. If your roll is successful you get to activate said unit and then roll for the next unit. Your turn ends when you fail an activation roll. This causes you to think about what unit you want to prioritize on activating. And from what I've read it makes the game flow better. This is just a thought, I know some won't like because its adds some more randomness into the game.

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1 hour ago, Skyhawk said:

I think we should do the same with humans piloting spaceships part as well. 

I've been eye balling a fantasy game here recently, and it has a rather unique activation method. Rather than using the I move my army you move you army, or I move a unit you move a unit method , it has whats called activation rolls. For every unit you wish to activate on your turn you roll a pair of die. If your roll is successful you get to activate said unit and then roll for the next unit. Your turn ends when you fail an activation roll. This causes you to think about what unit you want to prioritize on activating. And from what I've read it makes the game flow better. This is just a thought, I know some won't like because its adds some more randomness into the game.

Battletech is similar, save that there is only one initiative roll at the beginning of the turn, not on a unit by unit basis, and activations are split across movement and shooting phases (with a physical phase in there now, too, I think).  If there is an unbalanced number, then one player will get to activate two models in an activation set.  It's actually pretty clear, I just haven't read them in forever. 

Shooting in Battletech is also interesting in that even though shooting activations are handled in initiative order, their affects are not recognized until the end of the Phase.  In Firestorm terms, Critical effects, Crew Loss, and ship loss don't happen until the Phase is ended, so that squadron that got pounded that phase can fire as effectively after the pounding activation as it could have if it had activated first.  I'm rather surprised more games don't use similar mechanics, as it really is rather balanced.

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18 minutes ago, Charistoph said:

Shooting in Battletech is also interesting in that even though shooting activations are handled in initiative order, their affects are not recognized until the end of the Phase.  In Firestorm terms, Critical effects, Crew Loss, and ship loss don't happen until the Phase is ended, so that squadron that got pounded that phase can fire as effectively after the pounding activation as it could have if it had activated first.  I'm rather surprised more games don't use similar mechanics, as it really is rather balanced.

I did appreciate this 'simultaneous' combat damage idea.  It would certainly ease some frustration on having squadrons decimated before you get to use them.  Helps to make the initiative roll much less decisive in games.

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