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Sky_Admiral

Commodore Jones

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All my assaulters go on a suicide mission

Strictly speaking not true. They don't get onboard and reform enough to perform another action during the battle's span, which is not the same as being dead.

It's been boiled down almost to the simplicity of the toss of a coin.

Just like firing. I'd dearly love to be able to actually aim the weapons or herd enemy with missiles, but the abstractive nature of the game is such that I just get to roll a bunch of dice. The boarders were merely brought in line with every other weapon system in this.

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One of the things I really liked in v1 was the fact that if the enemy successfully assaulted one of my ships, I still had a chance to wrestle it back from him or destroy it beofre he could steal it. That was both cinematic and added excitement, plus it could put a different tactical spin on things through the game.

OK, so a boarding assault that drags on for 4 turns might not be everyone's cup of tea, and that's fine (although I would imagine marines battling crew members with blasters through the corridors a la Star Wars...) - as I said before & elsewhere, just roll the dice in one turn to determine the result - doing it several times affected by the prior result is at least a chain of events, not just a "roll more than my number and hope I don't roll more than yours or you lose".

Does that expand on what I mean about boarding? It's been boiled down almost to the simplicity of the toss of a coin.

Alex has said what I think also. At this point I would be OK with boarding being dropped. Its that unimpressive to me now.

I roll some dice and a ship goes away. How about loosing crew points and assault points and just give us a secondary weapon in its place?

I liked that I could take a ship and someone may be able to take it back. Or I could shunt it away. Maybe the enemy decides to destroy it.

This system of boring, er I mean Boarding has taken away more player options. I know what Spartan did that and I commend the streamlining effort but in my opinion they fell short.

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Why I like the V2 boarding rules and how I see the fluff actually making sense.

BOARDING - I like the instant gratification and STRATEGY that comes with 1 turn boarding resolution. I feel the game did not lose anything, but rather SHIFTED the benefits from the "back-end" to the "front-end" of game play. Instead of a capture/shunt mechanic that led to possible enemy action against their own ship on future turns, INSTEAD we have an IMMEDIATE loss of an asset. I like to KILL my opponents ships. Boarding now lets me do that, and quickly. I want my opponent to KNOW that that BB with moderate crew loss is a TARGET that he/she can lose immediately if I board it. No passing go, no collecting $200.00. As for the fluff aspect, the war had just begun, not a lot of time to gather Intel and figure out how to operate alien tech. Marines ARE going to board and DESTROY/INCAPACITATE as many functions of the enemy ship as possible. WHY? Because they can't operate another races ship. Either the enemy crew locks down the systems the moment they realize things are not looking good (security protocols) OR they activate the self destruct (Intel/reverse engineering prevention). Meanwhile, the boarding marines are sabotaging anything they can (probably based on "hey, that looks important, let's blow that up" and/or hopefully based on a little background Intel. They stand little chance of "stealing" the ship. They are there to muck things up. Which is why I LOVE how crew loss affects AD and PD, because that is the result of good marines doing a good job EVEN if they failed to destroy the ship. Yes, a marine dies TRYING to blow up a ship OR he dies blowing up a ship. BUT, being military myself, I understand that sometimes sacrifice is necessary and "so others may live". Would you rather send a squad of marines to board a BB with minimal damage or try to destroy it, likely losing a couple SHIPS in the process. That squad would go every time, if I was admiral. The "needs of the many" and all that. Besides, if your home world was just nuked into oblivion or you are being invaded because of that action, would you be trying to win at any cost? People rally behind causes like that, and fanatically so. Not going to be hard to get people to fling themselves at enemy ships in a tube. Don't underestimate the instinct of survival or vengeance/revenge. So I believe the fluff is accurate in the case of boarding.

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How so? They board and don't win - they die (killed by the enemy). They win, they blow the ship up...err, dead.

That makes 2-way dead to me....

Again, nowhere does it say they die. Humans (perhaps aliens have different mentality) count military units as "broken" when someone inflicts 30% casualties to the unit. It is no longer combat effective. It stands to reason the marines in the failed attack merely withdraw, taking their wounded with them and use their shuttles to escape. Maybe they get picked up later after game, maybe they get back to the ship but lack the coherency to form functional assault during the game? In some rare cases they may indeed be all killed, but that only happens when the defender brings down AP to 0. It's far more sensible than to assume infantry fights to the last.

Nothing has changed in the FSA universe for this to be the case

And luckliy nothing in the background ever suggested ramming was there. Not a single story, not single historical fact that mentions ramming. Or taking ships captive for that matter, it was all purely in the rules, never in the fluff. And to be honest, the fluff between V1 and V2 changed significantly for some races (Relthoza, Dindrenzi), so why not complain that the bugs are no longer paper cutout race?

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Alex has said what I think also. At this point I would be OK with boarding being dropped. Its that unimpressive to me now.

I'm with veritechc on this, I'd rather dispoense with my AP and exchange them for equal CP or PD now.

Come on Alexmann. ;) Don't give up so easily...

Actually, if ya' think about it:

How long does it take for a boarding party to take over the Enterprise? A few hours maybe? The bridge just locks all the doors and vents the air?

Well... according to my calculations, a BB is around twice the size of the Enterprise:

spaceship-size-comparison-chart-FA.jpg

I don't see how the boarding parties would have any hope of capturing the ship... *I guess they could hack the alien systems, at least if they had Mckay.*

I think that Pok is on the right trail. After fighting to a computer and, either by hacking the system and blowing the shut drive, or by having O'Neill place charges, blow something really important up; they would run back to their pods, and "detach" to float safely till they are picked up, etc.

I think that's a little quicker, and more "realistic" than them fighting Star Wars style... I would imagine they would stand very little chance...

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You always cite "no metion of xxx" or "nowhere does it say xxx", but then come up with a load of comment/explanation etc that is also mentioned nowhere in SGs books etc

If there's a mention of something in the book, I try to stick to it, even if it's idiocy like fighters in space. But if there's no explaination for something, I try to come up with the most sensible one instead. Like not making every human marine a suicidal freak(though why exactly are most races using living bodies for boarding is also beyond me, it's perfect enviroment for bots or synthetics, in which case suicide missions make perfect sense).

I mean, saying something didn't exist because it was only in the rules is preposterous!

I merely meant that there's no background justification for ramming at all. You can be angry that it's gone, but saying it somehow destroys the game's setting continuity is simply wrong. it's a rule change, not setting change.

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If there's a mention of something in the book, I try to stick to it, even if it's idiocy like fighters in space.

How are fighters in space any more implausible then a frigate or battleship?

Come on Alexmann. ;) Don't give up so easily...

Actually, if ya' think about it:

How long does it take for a boarding party to take over the Enterprise? A few hours maybe? The bridge just locks all the doors and vents the air?

Well... according to my calculations, a BB is around twice the size of the Enterprise:

I don't see how the boarding parties would have any hope of capturing the ship... *I guess they could hack the alien systems, at least if they had Mckay.*

I think that Pok is on the right trail. After fighting to a computer and, either by hacking the system and blowing the shut drive, or by having O'Neill place charges, blow something really important up; they would run back to their pods, and "detach" to float safely till they are picked up, etc.

I think that's a little quicker, and more "realistic" than them fighting Star Wars style... I would imagine they would stand very little chance...

I have always assumed the time scale to be more then a few minuter. I am assuming hours per activation.

I think the important point about your agrument is that if it takes all these resources on a ship with limited resources (manpower, space and cost) why employ boarding teams at all. If the only goal is to destroy the ship they already have better means to do that at range. Why run your ship through the enemies fire to deploy boarders only to destroy the ship.

Why not spend the resources on better long range weapons, the crew for those and the space for those and destroy the ship from afar. Why not use the lost space and life support that including no boarders, their armor or suits, weapons and transports to armor your ship against assault? How did boarding develop if there was no benefit to it? There is no logical cost/benefit to boarding in my mind now.

Before, in the streamlined dark ages of v1 you had a reason to bear the withering range band 2 fire. You could take the ship and if your opponent didn't blow it away you shunted it off for twice the victory points. What was the problem with that? It made you have to guard against assaults and design strategies to put my boarders in such a way to take high value targets. Now I just get a destroyed ship result. Big deal. I can get the same results with by broadsides from range band 2.

Remember that I play Sorylians mostly. We lizards are made to assault and its dull as dishwater to me now. If I assault I generally win because my ships have a ton of screaming POed lizards in them. but winning isn't really that fun if the enemy has no chance. No chance to take the ship back.

I'd personally like boarding to take the one turn like it does now. Id like the option to scuttle the ship or take it for extra victory points. Id like it to have to be in my possession by the end of the game to earn those points. It should also be able to be retaken by whoever can. That will give a ton of options to the players, keep it streamlined and make it fun.

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I don't see how the boarding parties would have any hope of capturing the ship... *I guess they could hack the alien systems, at least if they had Mckay.*

I think that Pok is on the right trail. After fighting to a computer and, either by hacking the system and blowing the shut drive, or by having O'Neill place charges, blow something really important up; they would run back to their pods, and "detach" to float safely till they are picked up, etc.

I think that's a little quicker, and more "realistic" than them fighting Star Wars style... I would imagine they would stand very little chance...

Hmmmm. Well lets look at the evidence.

From the V2 rulebook:

page 54 -- concepts of a dropship delivering a platoon, and assaulter wings carry several squads.

page 79 -- Sorylians use large numbers of elite warriors for boarding assaults, though not a primary tactic.

page 97 -- Relthozan web-like assault bridges for "swarming" an enemy vessel.

page 102 -- Directorate heavily supplemented with shock troops, intention of capturing vessels and harvesting prisoners.

Though not mentioned, Dindrenzi vessels are also provided with "Secured Bulkheads" -- a design feature that implies a fear of boarding.

from Veydreth blog2 -- strike at their enemies with massed boarding actions by preference

from Oroshan blog -- do not shy away from boarding, best way to capture ships intact, implied this is partly how they survive in space.

from Ba'Kash blog -- live almost entirely off of plunder, boarding described as key to their success

from Terquai intro on website -- make it a point to focus on assault to supplement the Aquans.

You can find support for the others mentioned above here as well. I won't repeat myself.

from the Allaince fleet release guide:

- Ba'kash Varnak carry even more boarders.

- Veydreth tribes are sustained mostly by raiding and piracy (inferring boarding to capture), the entire point of the Stalker class is to take vessels intact for loot -- read this! Lots of info here about boarding intentions.

- Works Raptor "packed to the gunwales with assault platoons".

- Hawker vessels are noted as being designed purposefully to better resist boarding.

The exceptions in the release guide:

- The Ryushi are the only race mentioned in "hit and run" or sabotage style boarding. They are given specific reasons for preferring it, suggesting such an attitude which is unique.

- Kedorians are mentioned as being odd here too, preferring to sit back and use assault robots, mostly against crippled craft. They think it's icky. :lol::ph34r:

So...

Any assessment that implies the FA universe does not include the concept of mass-boarding as a tactic to capture an enemy vessel intact is clearly inconsistent with the back-story. Not all fleets include it in their doctrine, but most mention it, and many seem to use it as a key tactic or way of life. There are ships whose sole design purpose is boarding and assault!

Spartan has gone with the swashbuckling grapple-and-board analogy so familiar to the age-of-sail naval period -- swarming over the decks to capture the vessel intact. Aye, Aye! Not surprising, considering this is a game based on UC concepts.

I'm willing to concede that "destroyed" in game terms can also represent out of action, disabled, derelict or otherwise no longer a combat factor. This is a common concept in historical games. I can also see that this was part of the streamlining process of V2. However, it's terribly anti-climactic. It sucked a little bit of character out of the game for the sake of saving at most a paragraph of text. But this is no more than an opinion of how it should be.

In my opinion, crew-killing a ship (derelict) should have remained too.

The solution is simple. Add it back in on a voluntary basis, like a retro-MAR. Use it or don't as it suits you.

Rather than destroy the ship or destroy the boarders in the end phase, let it carry-on until somebody hits 0. The ship behaves normally until it hits 0, then either remove the ship and assume they shunted-off or blew it up, or make them try to shunt it off, or make it remains on the board (permitting recapture) until the end of the game -- winner collects a bonus! It's that easy. All we'd want to do is collectively decide is how to end it.

The only "difficult" thing is keeping a record from turn to turn of the assault's status.

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Thanks for the post pezhetairoi!

It is a epic image of hundreds of pods crashing into the side of a ship and SWAT teams running around everywhere. :P

That would make a great videogame.... or Skirmish game... <.<

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Well welcome back! However, both the ship designer and tactics points were in the original rulebook I believe...? PDFs mainly dealt with racial MARs, MARs in general, Alliance & Support fleets etc

Ah, you're right. I guess I just never used those features much when I played before ;). On the ship construction rules, why not just keep using the ones from the first rule book? I don't see how the have been invalidated, and it's not like they generated "official" designs in the first place!

So, I've been reading over the comments here, and I think you guys might be on to something about the changes to boarding being an overall negative change. To be honest, I had never really found that part of FA to be overly burdensome, especially compared to the wing rules and the PD bubble checking.

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Regarding PD bubbles, one thing I did approve of was how it gave a tactical advantage to fleet formation. You wanted to bunch up to keep yourself in PD range of other ships. In theory this should have been balanced by mines, which encourage you to spread out so multiple ships aren't hit by mines. Only problem is, mines never had enough power to really counter balance the PD bubble bonus.

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