Thursday, November 27, 2014

Fire All Phasers!

From my readings, the Void and Stars rules use opposed die rolls for combat, which is the standard Song of Blade and Heroes system. I don't mind SBH's opposed die rolls for melee-intensive periods, such as medieval combat but it just doesn't feel right to me for missile combat. Opposed die rolls evoke images of warriors meeting face to face, testing their combat skills against each other. But firing? My combat ability (i.e. my ability to shoot) has very little to do with your ability to shoot me. For example, my initial experiments with DBA variants was for horse and musket battles. How do troops standing in rigid lines defend themselves against opposing attack (especially if the defenders have a shorter range and cannot fire back)? Since then, I've been rather skeptical of using opposed die rolls for missile combat. I know that it is just an abstract way of modeling the defender's use of dodging, cover, suppression fire, etc. to avoid getting hit, but it just doesn't feel right to me.

A response to a recent post by Kaptain Kobold about Void and Stars recommended a set of rules called USE ME (Universal Simple Engine for Miniature Engagements) Starship Battles. Interestingly, their combat rules are very similar to what I had in mind - roll D6 +/- mods >= a target number to score a hit. If there is a hit, roll to determine if it penetrates and then apply damage if applicable. There are 3 damage classes - winged, struck, and destroyed (with penalties to combat or movement at each level).

My initial thoughts for the combat rules:
  • Roll 1D6 per CV (which ranges from 2 to 4)
    • Hit on 5-6
    • Modifiers may apply
  • Defender rolls saving throws (based on their Defense rating)
  • Roll on Damage table to determine effect on hits (hull, weapon, or critical hits)
After reading USE ME, I'm thinking of dispensing with the damage table and using its 3 damage classes.

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