Some experimental rules...

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Gauntlet
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Some experimental rules...

Post by Gauntlet »

I've been thinking of running some test games locally with a series of "advanced" rules for further emulating orbital combat in DFC... without going into "realist" space.

Curious what you might think of...

1) Ships in Low Orbit may move an additional 3". This does not affect move value stats, and therefore does not increase minimum movement requirements/etc.

2) Close Action Weapons are not allowed to fire between orbital layers unless otherwise stated or enabled by another Special rule. Therefore this does not affect the Succubus attacking ships in Atmosphere from Lower Orbit with it's Close Action weapon for example.

3) Bombers and Fighters may interact with targets in Atmosphere if they are launched from within 6". Attacking Bombers doing so, suffer a +1 Penalty to accuracy.

4) Battle-group Cohesion is reduced to 8" (From 12") if one or more Groups are in High Orbit. Strategic Rating penalty for being out of Cohesion if increased from 1 to 3.

5) Using Max Thrust or Course Change whilst in Low Orbit is dangerous, and any ship using such orders receives two Damage. Armor and Passive saves may be taken as normal.

6) Ships in High Orbit, have their "Spikes" signature values reduced by 3". Therefore a minor spike confers a 3" signature increase and a major spike a 6" adjustment.

6B) Alternative to 6) There are three levels of Spikes, Minor, Major, and Critical. Minor = 6, Major = 9, and Critical = 12. Furthermore, Silent Running only removes two levels of spikes, not all three... so while a Critical Spiked ship can reduce it's base signature to 0" it will retain a Minor Spike of 6.


The overall idea here, is to modify some rules to make the difference between high and low orbit more significant... because high orbit literally represents a greater area of space and distance traversed. Some things are just for fun (like bombers hitting targets in Atmo).

Nobody
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Re: Some experimental rules...

Post by Nobody »

I almost feel that 1 and 6 should be reversed (high orbit being further out of the gravity well, while low orbit gives you a better chance of masking signature against the background of the planet).

I like 2 and 4, not a huge fan of 3 (pretty much gives away a UCM command card), and 5 I think should be atmospheric rather than low orbit.

6b probably overcomplicates the spike mechanic too much.

Yossarian78
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Re: Some experimental rules...

Post by Yossarian78 »

I am trying to find the connecting theme within the rules mods:
If lower orbit is more a "dangerous" environment to work in shouldn't that be offset with advantages to signature? I think "1" works within this. I think the spirit of "4" and "6" should be applied to Low Orbit instead of High Orbit. (I know you aren't basing on "realist" space but in my mind in should be harder to communicate closer to the planetary body but also harder to pick up energy spikes due to curvature and reflected radiation, other masking elements). I would also just leave the spike adjustment for Low Orbit at a flat "-3" to any accumulated spikes so minor spike nets "+3" and major spike "+9". Forewarning, any version of this will make partial cloak much more of a bargain.

As for "3", I am not in favor of anything that encourages more launch assets within the game. PHR benefits most from this and honestly aren't we trying to ween them off bombers?

As for "5", I think this should only be for hulls of M and above. Otherwise it's too harsh for frigates, corvettes, etc. A barge should be able to full thrust and a corvette should have no issue with course change when at low atmosphere.

As always this is just my 2 cents.

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Gauntlet
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Re: Some experimental rules...

Post by Gauntlet »

Okay... so ditching #3 (Launch Assets) it's just a pet peeve of mine, that the smallest and nimblest craft can't go into atmo, but plenty of Frigates can.

High orbit represents far greater area of space, and therefore shortens sigs. Low orbit represents a smaller area of space to both move within and to observe from high orbit, thus no benefit to sigs and a benefit to movement. Extreme movement is dangerous due to increased gravitational forces that must be nullified. Agreed it should be applied to M and above.

I also considered a Sig decrease for being in low orbit, when targeted from High Orbit because there would be "interference" from the planet below, but then there is only benefits to low orbit and really no benefits to High Orbit. You could also argue, that large ships in low orbit must make greater use of their Gravity Nullifier technology and that this is somehow easier to detect?



Revision:

1) Ships in Low Orbit may move an additional 3". This does not affect move value stats, and therefore does not increase minimum movement requirements/etc.

2) Ships in High Orbit, have their "Spikes" signature values reduced by 3". Therefore a minor spike confers a 3" signature increase and a major spike a 6" adjustment.

3) Using Max Thrust or Course Change whilst in Low Orbit is dangerous, and any ship of class M using such orders receives two Damage. Armor and Passive saves may be taken as normal.

4) Close Action Weapons are not allowed to fire between orbital layers unless otherwise stated or enabled by another Special rule. Therefore this does not affect the Succubus attacking ships in Atmosphere from Lower Orbit with it's Close Action weapon for example.

5) Battle-group Cohesion is reduced to 8" (From 12") if one or more Groups are in High Orbit. Strategic Rating penalty for being out of Cohesion if increased from 1 to 3 in all scenarios and circumstances.

Nobody
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Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:04 pm

Re: Some experimental rules...

Post by Nobody »

IMO, the difference between high orbit and low orbit for sig can be summed up in the following analogy:

You're trying to use binoculars to find your friend who's holding a flashlight and standing in a field.

Low orbit he's standing in a field with 100 other people, some of them are holding flashlights, some are holding their phones, etc.

High orbit he's standing in a dark field with maybe 10 other people, only a couple have flashlights.

I think the max thrust/course change penalty is probably enough (coupled with the potential for instant death if they fall into the atmosphere with several of the crippling rolls), but I don't think low orbit needs the extra 3" move.

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Gauntlet
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Re: Some experimental rules...

Post by Gauntlet »

The problem is... it's not same field.

Your looking for that friend in a field in low orbit, but as you go up, the field is expanded... A Lot. That's why the movement bonus makes sense, because if you are able to move X in High Orbit, and High Orbit is representing a 1000 square KM, then in Low Orbit you are moving over 100 KM with the same engines, you should generally be able to move X multiplied by 10.

It's difficult to visualize, but in essence, there are two game boards in DFC, and one should be much, much larger (High Orbit).

Nobody wants to go hyperrealistic, but the goal of these rule ideas is to give some flavor that represents that fact. The sig/search thing can be looked at a bunch of different ways... but not so much the movement.

Nobody
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Re: Some experimental rules...

Post by Nobody »

It's a field that's 1000 meters wide rather than one that's 100 meters wide.

That still doesn't change the fact that you have much less to sift through.

But it's your rules, if you want to play them that way, go for it.

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Orchaldor
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Re: Some experimental rules...

Post by Orchaldor »

With regard to revised rules 1&2, I can see exactly what you are both saying - and there is definitely merit to both points of view e.g. Signature: in low orbit you probably need a higher energy output to hold position deeper in the gravity well, but to an enemy looking down from higher orbit the planet may well mask your emissions; in high orbit you are outputting less, but the background is likely to be deep space, therefore you create stronger contrast against the backdrop when viewed from lower orbit.
So I would simply leave that out as a complication, and similar arguments can be made for motion, so I’d leave that off as well.

I think 3&4 are both excellent ideas, as they will force “fighting” ships choose to either play it safe in high orbit (but with reduced firepower against lower ships), or descend to low orbit where their guns can be more effective but there are more restrictions and risks.

I agree with 5 as well, but would suggest changing “High Orbit” to “different layers”, so that it rewards both good strategic battlegroup planning before the game, and good tactical manoeuvring on the tabletop.

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