B5 RPG Space Combat - how is it?

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B5 RPG Space Combat - how is it?

Postby Azgulor » Sat Feb 19, 2005 6:35 am

I'm a big fan of the Babylon 5 series and sci-fi RPGs are my genre of choice. However, in almost every case, the space combat rules are either a bolt-on, are too cumbersome, or just unworkable. Invariably, my players only want to run planet-based specialists and space travel/combat becomes window dressing.

How is the B5 RPG's space combat system? Are there rules for starship construction? How do they compare with some of the other d20/OGL sci-fi rules on the market (d20 Future, Blood & Space, etc.)?

Thanks,

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Postby Perturbatio » Sat Feb 19, 2005 6:43 am

The space combat rules aren't too bad, although we ended up simplifying them for the sake of speed.
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Postby Eryx » Sat Feb 19, 2005 2:42 pm

Perturbatio wrote:The space combat rules aren't too bad, although we ended up simplifying them for the sake of speed.
Same here really. The problem we found while playing was that its a pain in the backside to decide distances and positioning. Otherwise its ok.

If the combat is big enough I'd probably recommend shifting focus to A Call 2 Arms for the combat. We did that when the ship the players were on was attacked by a Shadowsouled Scout vessel. It worked out well, when just sitting there rolling dice would not have been a good choice.
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Postby Michka » Sun Feb 20, 2005 1:59 am

I really wanted to like the rules. I really did. But unless your players learn the rules, be prepared to teach them every little detail. It's a pain.

I thought I read somewhere that a fighter scale space combat system was in the works from Mongoose. Let's hope.
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Re: B5 RPG Space Combat - how is it?

Postby Xular » Sat Mar 19, 2005 12:58 pm

Azgulor wrote:How is the B5 RPG's space combat system? Are there rules for starship construction? How do they compare with some of the other d20/OGL sci-fi rules on the market (d20 Future, Blood & Space, etc.)?
I only know one other d20 Space Combat system and that is that from StarWars ... and compared to this, the B5 system ist really REALLY AWSOME!! There is only one word for it: incredible!! :D

Mongoose did a really great job! And this even in their first try!! d20 StarWars ist now in the 3rd Version and still the B5 system outshines it by eons! Especially if you add the Call to Arms rules!!

All things I would have hope for in StarWars space combat Mongoose brings forth for B5! (a cool rpg space combat system, an cool miniature space combat system which is compatible with the rpg AND now soon ship floorplans!).

Have you used the StarWars rules for space combat? I did have a player group who repeatedly shot down Imperial Class StarDestroyers (those armored behemoths and flying cities of space) with just X-Wings or modified transports ... ARRRRRGH :roll:
Mongoose did that right the first time!

As a side note: has anyone perhaps tried a (private of course) conversion for StarWars ships to the Call to Arms or B5 rpg space-combat system? That would be cool ... *looks hopefully around*
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Re: B5 RPG Space Combat - how is it?

Postby lastbesthope » Sat Mar 19, 2005 11:36 pm

Xular wrote:Have you used the StarWars rules for space combat? I did have a player group who repeatedly shot down Imperial Class StarDestroyers (those armored behemoths and flying cities of space) with just X-Wings or modified transports ... ARRRRRGH :roll:
Mongoose did that right the first time!
There's a mission in the X-Wing PC game similar to that, you're in an X-wing, you have to knock out the shield generators above the bridge to let the ion cannons on the Y-wwings disable the ship. A lucky B-Wing (or ata push a Y-Wing) could do it without support, but without ion cannons an X-wing would never last long enough against those turbo lasers.

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Re: B5 RPG Space Combat - how is it?

Postby Xular » Sun Mar 20, 2005 3:23 pm

lastbesthope wrote:There's a mission in the X-Wing PC game similar to that, you're in an X-wing, you have to knock out the shield generators above the bridge to let the ion cannons on the Y-wwings disable the ship. A lucky B-Wing (or ata push a Y-Wing) could do it without support, but without ion cannons an X-wing would never last long enough against those turbo lasers.

LBH
Yes sure it should be possible with a LOT of work ... How long did it take you in your X-Wing to do that hm? In the StarWars rpg it would be done in just a few (6 sec) rounds!! Then the Star Destroyer goes BOOOM ... (an not just the shields) ... and this is just ... well ridiculous ...
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Re: B5 RPG Space Combat - how is it?

Postby lastbesthope » Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:49 pm

[quote="XularYes sure it should be possible with a LOT of work ... How long did it take you in your X-Wing to do that hm? In the StarWars rpg it would be done in just a few (6 sec) rounds!! Then the Star Destroyer goes BOOOM ... (an not just the shields) ... and this is just ... well ridiculous ...[/quote]

A long time, and that was with 'NPC' Y-wing support to help disable the thing!

You shouldn't be able to take out anything bigger than a Corellian Blockade runner in a few rounds (6 torps and boom!)

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Re: B5 RPG Space Combat - how is it?

Postby Xular » Mon Mar 21, 2005 2:04 pm

lastbesthope wrote:You shouldn't be able to take out anything bigger than a Corellian Blockade runner in a few rounds (6 torps and boom!)

LBH
This is exactly what I was saying! And that is why I like the Mongoose's space combat system SO much better as there is a balance between fighters and capital ships. They can harm a capital ship (especially with lucky shots), but they mostly scratch it and won't endanger them too much ...

I really would like to use Mongoose's system for my other sci-fi games too ... (especially StarWars). So perhaps might we see a generic space combat system based on Call to Arms and/or the B5 rpg space combat rules? *looks hopefully around*
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Postby Obsidian » Mon Mar 21, 2005 3:40 pm

I really would like to use Mongoose's system for my other sci-fi games too ... (especially StarWars). So perhaps might we see a generic space combat system based on Call to Arms and/or the B5 rpg space combat rules? *looks hopefully around*
Funny. With all the conversions that have happenned, I have yet to see anyone go near a star wars conversion. We've got Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, even Andromeda and Farscape, yet no Star Wars...

I'm sure it has to do with the sheer volume of material that is out there for Star Wars as well as the VASTLY differeing opinions on how things work. The last thing you want to do is spend a bunch of time on a conversion and then have someone start yelling because your conversion doesn't accurately represent the revisions to the ship that were made in Tech Manual 42-B which was only available if you went to the Star Wars convention in 1990. Etc; etc; :wink:

One other issue is that Unlike B5 or Star Trek, the stories in Star Wars tend to revolve around fighters rather than capitol ships. Think about it. How often do you see a Mon Calamari Cruiser take out a Star Destroyer? Never. It's always the act of extraordinary bravery by some fighter squadron. If you switch it over to use Call to Arms you run the risk of offending people's understanding of the way the Star Wars universe works.
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Postby lastbesthope » Mon Mar 21, 2005 7:52 pm

I'm sure someone posted up stats for an ISD somewhere around here. . . .

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Postby Xular » Tue Mar 22, 2005 9:47 am

Obsidian wrote:How often do you see a Mon Calamari Cruiser take out a Star Destroyer? Never. It's always the act of extraordinary bravery by some fighter squadron. If you switch it over to use Call to Arms you run the risk of offending people's understanding of the way the Star Wars universe works.
Yep strange ... loads of conversions but no StarWars :( Well the first part may be true (about the different opinions), but for the moment everything is better than the WotC space combat version. Some conversion for the old WestEndGames D6 rules for StarWars ships to d20 would be cool! Sure nothing official, as there is the licesing issue, but at least there might be something around from fans?

And as for Capital Ships in SW: Well ... there are LOTS of them seen in action. From the first film where the Falcon has to run from ISDs, to the armada with Vader's SSD in the second, to the epic battle over Endor where capital ships clash en masse.

As for the starfighter action ... especially in the earlier episodes of B5 there is a lot of Starfury action but nearly no capital-ship action. So your argument about more starfighters would be true in B5 too and still there is that cool Call to Arms :wink:
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Postby Methos » Tue Mar 22, 2005 10:17 am

i´ll go with Xular here, the SW battlesystem really sucks compared to B5, maybe mongoose could enlighten some SW fans with ships stats for SW ships :lol:
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Postby lastbesthope » Wed Mar 23, 2005 12:20 am

Xular wrote:As for the starfighter action ... especially in the earlier episodes of B5 there is a lot of Starfury action but nearly no capital-ship action. So your argument about more starfighters would be true in B5 too and still there is that cool Call to Arms :wink:
Well if youcount camera time on the shipos during combat, fighters get a much larger proportion than cap ships in SW than they do in B5. Especially when you remember White Stars are cap ships.

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Postby TheAuldGrump » Wed Mar 23, 2005 7:21 am

Ship combat is the one thing about B5 RPG that I cannot stand. I want a vectored system, the show uses a vectored system. The game does not.

So I avoid space combat, and tell people not to take any skills for it.

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Postby frobisher » Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:41 am

TheAuldGrump wrote:Ship combat is the one thing about B5 RPG that I cannot stand. I want a vectored system, the show uses a vectored system. The game does not.
You've got your terms confused here...

What you want is a momentum based vector movement system.

Any movement is "vectored" even if it's one dimensional...

I'd seriously suggest dusting off your copy of B5Wars (if you own it) and integrating that. If you go with 3km hexes then the groundscale is about right for the 6 second turn. It's a pretty good hex constrained MBVMS all told at a level that would work with the RPG. A small amount of work is needed to integrate character skills into the system but not that much really.
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Postby Aramanthus » Wed Mar 23, 2005 11:19 pm

Interesting! I'll have to keep that in mind! Thanks Frobisher!
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