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 Post subject: The Invasion Begins: an unofficial Andromedan discussion
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 6:18 am 
Greater Spotted Mongoose

Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 10:14 pm
Posts: 1158
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Mysterious intruders from the M31 Galaxy, with a relentless drive to conquer propelling them ever onward, the Andromedan Invaders are a threat to all life as we know it.

And when I say "as we know it", I'm not kidding. No-one knows what the Andromedans look or sound like, or even who or what they are as a species; the only person who supposedly saw one and lived could not be brought to recount his experience, even with the "aid" of a Vulcan mind-meld. What we do know is that Andromedan warships are forces to be reckoned with; vast Motherships with cavernous hangar bays capable of transporting smaller Satellite Ships into battle, with deadly robotic Marine squads used to strike terror into their opponents at every turn.

First emerging in the Lesser Magellanic Cloud in Y138, the Andromedans set out to conquer the Cloud from Y146 onwards. After their first successful wave of conquest against the indigenous Magellanic empires, the Andromedans used this beach-head to lay the groundwork for a broader set of campaigns against the Alpha and Omega Octants.

The first reported encounters in the Milky Way took place in Y166; over the next several decades, the number (and severity) of these intrusions increased, to the point where they upgraded from "curiousity" to "nuisance" to "threat". Although no-one could have guessed it at the time, these skirmishes were part of the Andromedans' wider efforts; helping them gain experience for the war to come.

That war broke out in the Alpha Octant in Y188, when the Andromedan wave crashed into the thin line of Pacification forces which the Inter-Stellar Concordium had placed between the Alliance and Coalition empires as part of its own Pacification Campaign. As the Concordium fought desperately to shake off the metallic claws reachign for its collective throats, the rest of the Octant found itself facing the invaders not long after. (The Omega Octant had seen overt Andromedan advancements by the late Y180s, but the full-scale onslaught broke out over there in Y192.)

The key to the Andromedan logistical efforts was the Rapid Transit Network. The Andromedans had a range of satellite bases; the size of satellite ships, these bases, one placed, operated a subspace beacon which allowed Andromedan ships to move between them at a staggering speed of Warp 15. A similar, larger link existed between galaxies; with the massive Desecrator starbases acting as super-RTN nodes from the Cloud back to the Andromeda Galaxy. However, only ships armed with the mysterious Displacement Device could traverse the RTN; and since Andromedan ships had a slower strategic speed when off the grid than their Galactic counterparts, this hidden strength became a fatal weakness once the network was exposed.

Officially, this happened in Y195; the Galactic Survey Cruiser USS Darwin returned to Star Fleet with records confirming the nature of the RTN, which allowed the Federation (and other empires) to shut down the network by destroying every satellite base they could find. Eventually, this led to the discovery of three routes down to the LMC; and to Operation Unity, a joint task force which saw the surviving Alpha Octant powers send task forces to the Cloud in Y202, where they were able to stop the invasion once and for all. (This in turn swept the rug out from under the invasion of Omega; there, a counter-invasion fleet managed to destroy the last major Andromedan basion in Y204's Operation Concerted Strike.)

Unofficially, however, things were not quite so simple. Before the Darwin had made its return, it had been sucked into a time rift; dragging it twelve years into the future, to a world in which its findings had gone unreported. In that dark future, the RTN had not been discovered until Y200; too late to stop the Andromedans from gaining a decisive advantage against the Galactic forces. A Star Fleet advanced technology squadron bravely placed itself in the path of a fearsome Andromedan battleship, selling itself dearly in order to give the Darwin a second chance at saving history. Fortunately, this sacrifice was not in vain; not only did the Darwin make it back intact, it also brought with it as much data from the "dark future" timeline as the Star Fleet ships had been able to transfer across during that fateful encounter. These records were highly classified by "our" Star Fleet, but still proved vital in helping to turn the tide against the invaders in the core timeline.

But then, the question remains; is the war truly over? Beyond Alpha and Omega, no-one knows just yet how many other regions of the galaxy have been attacked by the invaders; and nor do we know, one way or another, if any more of the Milky Way's orbiting extra-galactic clusters or satellite galaxies (save for Draco Dwarf and the Iridani Cluster; no to the first, temporarily for the second) have suffered Andromedan infestation. Did Unity and Concerted Strike mark the beginning of the end... or merely the end of the beginning?

-----

Now, rules-wise, I should start by making oen thing clear; for my part, such as it is, I based my first pass at the rules (almost) entirely on how Federation Commander handles the Andromedans, not how they are done in Star Fleet Battles. The Andros are the prime example of how the rules for a given empire can chance radically from one game system to another; for SFB veterans currently unfamiliar with the difference, I would strongly recommend taking a punt at the FC Reference Rulebook, in order to gauge this major distinction for themsleves.

In terms of what they need in order to get up and running, the Andros are easily the most rule-hungry empire to show up anywhere in the Alpha Octant. (A handful of the more exotic empires outside of Alpha might come close, in terms of how "out there" their ways of doing things are.) Many of their systems are not only unique to them, but work in ways that no other empire can even comprehend, let alone try to emulate.

In terms of weapons, they have Phasers-2... or what seem to act like them, at least. They also have light and heavy tractor-repulsor beams, weapons which can literally rip the target apart at a molecular level, and also moonlight as stadard tractor beams, too. (In the "dark future", the Andros cooked up an even scarier weapon, the dissection beam; capable of carving off entire warp nacelles in one go! Fortunately, "our" Andros never seemed to deploy that one.)

Their other systems are even more distinct. they have power-absorber panels in place of shields; capable of soaking up enemy fire and using it to power their own weapons! The aforementioned displacement device has a tactical application, allowing it to shift a friendly ship into a more dangerous position... or shove an enemy deep into the molten core of a planet. Their transporters are of an order of magnitude beyond those used in the Federation; entire Satellite Ships can be "beamed" into and out of a Mothership's hangar bay. And while you can't beam a Marine squad through active PA panels, they can send their own hit-and-run raids through and back over theirs.

It's not all bad news, however. DisDevs come with a built-in physical limit; space literally cannot handle more than two ships operating them at once, putting a cap on their tactical applications. Also, while panels can store a lot of energy, they do run the risk of cascade effects if the panel generators are disabled; which can see an Andro ship tear itself apart if it's caught in a bad position. Plus, disruptor users gain a benefit, since the bolts seem to have a particular effect against PA panels.


-----

I'm gonna post my first attempt at a ruleset, along with two sample ships (a Conquistador and Cobra, based on their FC Ship Cards), rather than clog up this opening post more than it is already.

Of course, no-one (save for Mongoose and ADB) has a monopoly (or duopoly, rather) on how things should be in ACtA:SF; so while we have quite some time to consider more unoffical options, any ideas or comments on how to make the Invaders fit more naturally in the game system are welcome.

(And for anyone who is wondering, the ship in the above pic is the Dominator; a dreadnought-class vessel which boasts few equals, even before you factor in its complement of SatShips.)

_________________
The above post is 100% unofficial.
-----
Unofficial discussions for ACtA:SF:
The Andromedan Invaders
The Juggernaut Empire
The Lesser Magellanic Cloud
The Omega Octant
The Triangulum Galaxy


Last edited by Nerroth on Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:53 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Invasion Begins: an unoffical Andromedan discussion
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 6:28 am 
Greater Spotted Mongoose

Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 10:14 pm
Posts: 1158
Location: Ontario, Canada
EDIT: Version 2. (I left V1 of theTRL and TRH, for comparison's sake.)


-----

Displacement Device: The key to Andromedan logistical operations, the mysterious Displacement Device both acted as a highly unorthodox tactical system in its own right, as well as providing Andromedan ships with the ability to travel along the Rapid Transit Network laid within (and between) galaxies.

Instead of using a Special Action, the Andromedan player may expend each Attack Die from its his Displacement Devices in one of the following manners:

Self-Displacement
If used upon itself, the operating unit may be placed anywhere within 12 inches of its starting position, retaining its original facing.

Friendly Displacement
If used upon a friendly Andromedan unit within 12 inches, the operating unit may place the friendly ship anywhere anywhere within 6 inches of that unit's starting position, retaining its original facing.

Offensive Displacement
If used offensively against an enemy ship within 12 inches, roll a D6 to determine if the device successfully displaces the target or not. On the roll of a 1, 2, 3 or 4, the target is displaced D6 inches in the F, A, P or S directions respectively; on a roll of 5 or 6, the Attack Die is lost, and the target ship remains in place.

Satellite Ship Launch
In addition, an Andromedan Mothership may place one of the Satellite Ships in its own hangar bay anywhere within 5 inches of the Mothership, facing in any direction.

A displaced ship cannot fire or launch weapons (offensively; it may still fire defensively); nor may it use tractor beams, labs, or transporters.

If this movement takes the ship into an asteroid field, do not roll for collision. If the displaced ship emerges inside a planet or moon, it is immediately destroyed. However, a Displacement Device may not be used to displace a target into a smaller object (such as another ship); if a ship is already in the same location, its base and that of the displaced ship are placed in contact with each other. Ships with the Immobile Trait cannot be displaced.

No more than two Andromedan ships, be they Motherships or Satellite Ships, may actively operate their Displacement Devices simultaneously. (If three ships attempt to activate these devices in the same encounter, all three will be immediately dragged into a tear in the fabric of subspace.) If an Andromedan player has more than two ships equipped with Displacement Devices in a given scenario (perhaps to represent prior units arriving in the region along the RTN, then de-activating their devices in order to allow reinforcements to arrive) he must nominate which two ships have their devices active; no other Displacement Device-equipped ship may operate unless one or both of these operating ships are destroyed (or otherwise leave the map). Should this come to pass, dormant Displacement Devices may be activated on the subsequent turn, though must be “reloaded” before use; the two-ship-per-battle limit still applies. (Note that Andromedan units with the Immobile Trait do not count towards this limit.)

An Andromedan ship can only successfully disengage from a given scenario if it has a Displacement Device; any other units (be they Motherships or Satellite Ships) which attempt to disengage without an active device are considered to be destroyed.

Mothership X: The key Andromedan warships, Motherships are able to use their cavernous hangar bays to carry Satellite Ships across the Rapid Transit Network. A Mothership’s X score is the number of “hangar points” it has available; it may carry any number of Satellite Ship X scores up to this amount. A Mothership may use its Transporters to launch and recover Satellite Ships; each requires one Transporter use apiece. As with launches via Displacement Device, Satellite Ships launched by Transporter may be placed anywhere within five inches of the Mothership, facing in any direction. To be recovered, a Satellite Ship must also be within five inches of the recovering Mothership.

Power-Absorber Panels: Instead of shields, Andromedan ships use a series of power-absorber panels; capable of converting the energy from incoming weapons fire into a state which, over time, the Andromedan ship can attempt to dissipate (or even use to power its own weapons!). However, this system comes at a price; should the panel generators be over-run, the subsequent release of energy can trigger a cascading effect, tearing the ship apart.

Incoming non-critical hits reduce the Andromedan ship’s Power-Absorber Panel score; critical hits bypass the panels as if they were shields. (Shield criticals count against the panels as normal; this represents degradation of the panel banks incurred over the course of a battle.)

Power-Absorber panels have a split value, akin to the Damage score of the ship proper; the first value shows the starting panel score, while the second indicates a level at which the panel banks are "compromised" (in that the amount of energy stored in the panels is high enough to risk a cascading effect). Should a critical hit be scored once the Panel score has been reduced to (or below) this secondary score, the level of this critical hit will be increased by +1.

Andromedan ships cannot use the Boost Energy to Shields! Special Action. Instead, in the End Phase, they may dissipate some of this energy into space; this increases the current Panel score by one-tenth of the ship’s starting Panel score, but cannot go over the ship’s starting total. If a Mothership has one or more Satellite Ships in its hangar bay, it may also choose to transfer a further amount of panel damage to each of these Satellite Ships, up to one-tenth of the starting Panel scores of each. (The Satellite Ships in turn cannot dissipate this energy while they are still in the hangar bay; they must be launched first.) The other means of transferring energy seen in Federation Commander or Star Fleet Battles are abstracted into the overall ship operations in A Call to Arms: Star Fleet.

Power-Absorber Panels block the use of enemy Transporters, but do not obstruct the use of an Andromedan ship’s own Transporters (or a “friendly” Transporter operation between two allied Andromedan units). Note that allied Motherships may not transport Satellite Ships from one to another; the Satellite Ship must be launched by one Mothership before it can be recovered by the other.

In addition, due to their “disruptive” effect on Power-Absorber Panels, any Disruptor Attack Dice successfully fired against Andromedan units with active panels gain the Precise trait for that instance of fire.

Satellite Ship X: Satellite Ships are much smaller than Motherships; they do not possess hangar bays of their own, but can be carried by a larger Mothership. The X score is the number of points a Mothership must use from its own Mothership X Trait in order to carry the Satellite Ship into (and out of) a given scenario. Satellite Ships cannot use their own Transporters to launch from (or into) a Mothership’s hangar bay.

Tractor-Repulsor Beams: The primary heavy weapons of the Andromedan Invaders, Tractor-Repulsor Beams come in light and heavy varieties; the former mounted on satellite ships, the latter reserved for motherships. Each Attack Die from a TR beam (light or heavy) may be used either in its normal role (as a weapon) or as a tractor beam (with a T arc); it may not be used as both in the same turn. Tractor-Repulsor Beams cannot be overloaded.


(V1)
Weapons Range Arc AD Special
Light Tractor-Repulsor Beam 20 Varies Varies Accurate +1, Multihit 3, Devastating +1, Reload
Heavy Tractor-Repulsor Beam 20 Varies Varies Accurate +1, Multihit 6, Devastating +1, Reload
Displacement Device 24 T Varies Reload

(V2, based on storeylf's suggestions)
Weapons Range Arc AD Special
Light Tractor-Repulsor Beam 14 Varies Varies Accurate +2, Kill Zone 6, Multihit 2, Precise, Reload
Heavy Tractor-Repulsor Beam 18 Varies Varies Accurate +2, Kill Zone 8, Multihit 4, Precise, Reload

-----

Andromedan Initiative: +2

Andromedan (unofficial) Fleet List:


Cobra Destroyer (COB) 125 points
Conquistador Light Cruiser (COQ) 260 points


-----

COBRA DESTROYER (COB) - 125 POINTS

Less common in the early waves of Andromedan arrivals in the Milky Way and Lesser Magellanic Cloud, the Cobra Medium Satellite Ship became more common after encounters with Galactic and Magellanic squadrons left the smaller Viper to be found somewhat wanting. The Cobra was the largest Satellite Ship the Conquistador could carry, yet was still small enough to allow motherships with larger hangar bays to carry them in respectable numbers.

Ships of the Class: Naja, Pablo.

Turn:
3
Power-Absorber Panels: 40/10
Damage: 12/4
Marines: 4
Craft: None
Traits: Agile, Enhanced Bridge, Probe 0, Satellite Ship 4, Transporter 1

Weapons Range Arc AD Special
Phaser-2 12 PH 2 Accurate +1, Kill Zone 4, Precise
Phaser-2 12 SH 2 Accurate +1, Kill Zone 4, Precise
Light Tractor-Repulsor Beam 14 FH 2 Accurate +2, Kill Zone 6, Multihit 2, Precise, Reload

RECONAISSANCE COBRA VARIANT (CBR, Diego) -5 POINTS

Used to scout along the Rapid Transit Network in the absence of a Mothership, this variant was less suited to direct combat. The Recon Cobra removes 1 Attack Die from its Light Tractor-Repulsor Beams, and adds the following in its place:

Weapon Range Arc AD Special
Displacement Device 24 T 1 Reload

-----

CONQUISTADOR LIGHT CRUISER (COQ) - 260 Points

The smallest Andromedan Mothership, the combination of a Conquistador and Cobra (or Viper) proved to be a dangerous one for patrolling starships, and a threat to innumerable Galactic and Magellanic colonies and convoys.

Ships of the Class: Cortez, DeSoto, Montefeltro, Pizarro.

Turn: 4
Power-Absorber Panels: 60/15
Damage: 24/8
Marines: 4
Craft: None
Traits: Agile, Enhanced Bridge, Labs 2, Mothership 4, Transporter 2

Weapons Range Arc AD Special
Phaser-2 12 FH 2 Accurate +1, Kill Zone 4, Precise
Phaser-2 12 PH 3 Accurate +1, Kill Zone 4, Precise
Phaser-2 12 SH 3 Accurate +1, Kill Zone 4, Precise
Heavy Tractor-Repulsor Beam 18 FH 2 Accurate +2, Kill Zone 8, Multihit 4, Precise, Reload
Displacement Device 24 T 2 Reload

-----

For comparison's sake, you can see what the FC versions of the Cobra and Recon Cobra look like in low-toner form over in Communiqué #70. There is no Ship Card for the Conquistador in the Commander's Circle; but you can see the the Galleon transport, the step-sister of the larger Intruder heavy cruiser, in Communiqué #65. (As usual, ignore the Fleet Scale versions of each; only the Squadron Scale editions are of relevance.)

_________________
The above post is 100% unofficial.
-----
Unofficial discussions for ACtA:SF:
The Andromedan Invaders
The Juggernaut Empire
The Lesser Magellanic Cloud
The Omega Octant
The Triangulum Galaxy


Last edited by Nerroth on Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:14 am, edited 8 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Invasion Begins: an unoffical Andromedan discussion
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:21 am 
Banded Mongoose

Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:38 pm
Posts: 319
I really like Andros in FC and played them quite a bit. One thing that woud concern me about taking FC a bit to closesly though is that whilst Andros are great in small numbers, they are utterly outclassed in fleet level games. ACTA is primarily a fleet level game, so their design here would have to ensure that they can actually handle well in that environment. That may be difficult if you keep some of the key fluff/rules bits (No more than 2 disdev ships are able to operate in a battle without catastrophic consequences).

The primary problem Andros face in large actions is two fold.
  • They may only operate 2 ships with displacement devices (which means all mother ships) in any one area, and the sateliite ships are pretty small, this means they can usually only bring 2 large ships.
  • More important, whilst andros are pretty hard nuts to crack compared to any other ship of equivalent size, they are also have the wimpiest firepower of any empire. They rely on tanking it with their power absorbers, regenerative capability, and displacement tricks. At fleet level that tends to not work so well, fleet level firepower will blow away an andro, whilst they lack the fire power to do the same thing at the same rate. They suffer from a threshold effect, if you can't bring enough firepower then you will really really struggle, but as you go over that threashold it gets easier and easier.

I have thought about them myself in ACTA. Some of these will be quite a bit different to FC, but here are my thoughts so far.

New Trait.

Displacement device X.
A ship with this device can use his displacement device when he activates his ship for fire. It must be used before any firing. It can be used for 4 purposes.
  • launch satelite ships. A satelite ship currently in the hangar can be launched. Place them within 6". facing may be any.
  • Displace self. Simply place your ship anywhere within 12", facing reamins the same.
  • Displace friendly. Choose an andro ship within 12" and place it anywhere within 6".
  • Displace enemy ship. Choose an enemy ship within 12" it maybe randomly dispaced D6" in a random direction, roll a D6:
    • 1 = it is displaced directly forward
    • 2 = directly to S
    • 3 = directly backwards
    • 4 = directly to P
    • 5/6 = it fails to displace
You may split your X up between the 4 ways of use, so DisDev 2 could be used to displace yourself and 1 enemy.

In all cases the ship displaced is disrupted for the remainder of the fire phase and cannot fire weapons this turn. Note this means itself as well, it must use the displace as its first action, and cannot therefore fire afterwards if it displaces itself.

A ship that has been displaced cannot be hit by seekers this turn.


The above means that the displacement device cannot be used as offensively as it can in FC (where you can fire at the time you use it to displace away, and suffer disruption next turn) but tracking disruption over a turn would be a pain, and disruption is a key aspect of the device. Offensive use is still, however, quite potent as you can use it to disrupt enemy ships and prevent them firing if you activate it before they have fired. It still makes a good get away device, as you can move and then activate the device allowing for 24" of move, or you can use to close very fast.

The dis dev also is your main anti seeker device in FC, they don't have many other means of avoiding being hit, being somewhat light on phasers. But they can jump around making them hard to hit with seekers, hence the rule about not launching at them if they jumped. This may be tough on Gorn/Rom, but remember that if they jump they cannot fire, so you can still hit them with phasers. And of course you can still launch if you get to activate before them (also see note below about how many DisDevs they have).

Also note, unlike FC I have not made it suffer from reload. This is part of what I was thinking about Andros being very weak in fleet actions. Their disdev is in many ways their key weapon, and allowing them you use it every turn will I think make them much more interesting (than just upping firepower etc).

For note, Displacement devices are not high in number. Mother ships all carry 1-4 (4 being on the massive Dominator, which in FC is pointed higher than any battleship), within FC only 1 satellite ship carries 1 which is used for long range scouting missions, but if take that sat ship you effectlively give up a mother ship, as it counts against your 2 ship limit.


Power absorbers
In terms of repair Nerroths suggestion might well work, it is a free action so costs them nothing unlike boost shields. Though it lacks the rate that you see in FC relative to the galactic ships (boost shields is huge relative to FC). But given it is free it is probably quite decent.

Not so sure about the way he handled the point at which they start failing though, I dislike having to keep checking what level the shields are at, I'm also wary of how that would play with weapons that are already devastating (level 3 crit effectively). If it was only when the power absorbers are fully down then it maybe better.

I had been thinking more along the lines of any critical does double the extra damage, but with no additional rules to do with leaks or crits etc. So Andro just takes a leak as normal, but any crits do twice the extra hull damage. So a level 4 crit would do 6 damage rather than 3, and a level 5 would be 2D6 rather than D6.

The other idea I had been mulling over was that an andro with existing power absorbe damage can ignore the effects of power drains, as he uses that energy stored to compensate. In FC shooting at an andro feeds it power, and some way of representing that would be nice.

TR beams

The beams as suggested by Nerroth feel stronger than in FC. The heavy beams are very very similar to a phaser 4 (but weaker at long range), a light beam is about half that. Though other weapon damage is quite different in this game, so its hard to gauge, e.g. a TRL is similar to an overloaded disrupter, and a TRH does more than an overloaded photon at very close range. A major aspect of Andros is that they have light firepower (relative to similar sized ships) and rely on toughness and trickyness to deal with. I'd be wary of upping the firepower, and prefer to concentrate on making them harder to kill/catch.

  • TRL
    • range 14
    • 1 AD
    • Accurate +3
    • precise
    • multihit 2
    • killzone 6
    • reload
  • TRH
    • range 18
    • 1 AD
    • Accurate +3
    • precise
    • multihit 4
    • killzone 8
    • reload

In many ways that effectively makes them like 2 turn phasers, which is what they feel like in FC. They are, however, auto hit at short range, but you would still roll to see if they leak, or against anything that causes a shift against you (e.g. evasive). NB - I'm not aware that ACTA says a '1' is always a miss.

They can also be used as a tractor beam instead if firing.

The above leaves them weak in firepower, but they are in the SFU. It is the difficulty in catching and damaging them that is what makes them interesting as they wear you down.

Note, the TRHs are only found on mother ships, and you can't have more than 2 of them in FC. So the maximum TRHs is 8, if you have 2 dominators, which is over 900pts in FC (roughly about 1100 points in ACTA, generalising on cost translation). I'd expect 4-6 in a more typical ACTA game.


PS: I noticed the deliberate error in Nerroths cobra/Conq ship stats :wink: , phaser 2s are accurate +1.


Last edited by storeylf on Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Invasion Begins: an unoffical Andromedan discussion
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:42 am 
Chief Mongoose

Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 5:49 pm
Posts: 7209
Location: UK
I do like the pic - nice - I have this mental image of the centre saucer spinning :) which feels pretty cool.

onto the rules:

I like Storyelf's displacement rules better - but with the caveat that ACTA does not have any restricitons on ships selected for games....

Instead I would be tempted to have a limit on the displacement based on starting damage of ships so they can't displace a ship bigger than itself. Especially important when you remember that Stations are "ships" as well.

Absorbers - if disruptors are better against the absorbers maybe extra multihit would be better than precise or devestating. Looking at the rules they don;t seem to work much different to shields apart from blowing up - could you not just use shields rules with a few extra notes - disruptors and if reaches 0 blows up

I had missed that they had dropped the roll of a "1" was a miss when attacking from previous editions!

In order to really judge the ship sttas need to know what a "Satellite Ship" can do - otherwise the Huge Hangers rule from B5 could easily be nicked.

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 Post subject: Re: The Invasion Begins: an unoffical Andromedan discussion
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:45 am 
Banded Mongoose

Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:38 pm
Posts: 319
Da Boss wrote:
but with the caveat that ACTA does not have any restricitons on ships selected for games.....


Whilst I would normally agree with that, this is one area I would disagree. The disdev thing always felt far more about technical limits (to many disdev device armed vessels cause rifts in space to open up etc) rather than just some doctrine limit - like ISC or escorts. I would actually stick to the 2 disdev ship limit for andros.

Quote:
In order to really judge the ship sttas need to know what a "Satellite Ship" can do - otherwise the Huge Hangers rule from B5 could easily be nicked.


A sat ship is just the small andro ships. Andros carry their frigates and dstroyers and light cruisers (or however you want to class them) in hangars. They lack the strategic movement ability, they are absolutely nothing like figters or anything like that. Just think of sat ships being FF, DD and CL type ships.

The point to bear in mind is that hangars have no access to outside world, the onle way to launch ths ships is via dis dev or transporter.


Last edited by storeylf on Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:49 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Invasion Begins: an unoffical Andromedan discussion
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:52 am 
Chief Mongoose

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Ah right so the Cobra is the Satallite ship? Ok I get it.

I see your pont re fluff - I would rather that the number of displacements per turn are restricted which would mean you could have more variety of ships but still stop them teleporting evyone all over the place?

:D

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 Post subject: Re: The Invasion Begins: an unoffical Andromedan discussion
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:55 am 
Greater Spotted Mongoose

Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 7:09 am
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Having seen two quite different styles of Andros in SFB and seeing there is a third way of doing them in FC, I come to the following conclusion. Andros use vastly different tech styles to the main SFB system and while a lot of things can be done as 'weird weapn tech' some things cannot.

PA Panels as a basic paradigm for shielding is one of the issues, batteries and panels there are issues here that can be addressed by looking at maulers to an extent, but I suspect the best way in ACtA would be to introduce a new critical chart for Andros that replaces the Shields line with a specific PA Panel line for things like panels over powering and so on.
The whole satellite ship issue has been done in ACtA with the Drakh motherships - and those experiences are to be examined carefully for this trick.
Displacement Devices really fall into this. ACtA so far does not use fleet lists, which for many things doesnt cause too much of an issue though it produces weird fleets. Both the ISC and Andros have fleet limits that have balance issues that have to be considered. Either a fleet purchase system needs to be installed (and that means a retrofit and change of style in a big way) or the systems needs to be ported in a way that means the balance issues are under control. Easier with PPDs and the ISC I think than Dis Devs and the Andros


Andros really really have to done properly or else they get totally out of whack. While interesting, I expect them a long way down the line and they need serious serious work to get right.....if done well they could really add to the game, if done haphazardly - well, in the late 80/early 90s games I remember we simply said we were not going to use Andros as they were too much rock paper scissors - and they seemed win on 2 of those...


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 Post subject: Re: The Invasion Begins: an unoffical Andromedan discussion
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:01 pm 
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In case it of use the old Huge Hangers rule:

Huge Hangars X: Drakh have little use for fighters, preferring to use Raiders that are just as agile and far more powerful than the auxiliary craft of other races. Ships with Huge Hangars carry a number of Heavy Raiders, Light Raiders and Scouts equal to that shown in the trait. No carried ships may start deployed with the rest of the fl eet but may be launched as though they were fighters.
The ship starts the game with hangars filled with a mixture of Light Raiders, Heavy Raiders and Scouts, each with the ship’s Crew Quality score – these cost no Fleet Allocation Points. They are launched and can be taken back on board the carrier as if
they were Fighters, though they can never start the battle deployed. If destroyed, the Raiders and Scouts will yield Victory Points normally.
The Amu Mothership is a gigantic spacecraft, and may carry even Cruisers, Light Cruisers or Strike Cruisers within. If you choose to do this, each Cruiser or Strike Cruiser will take up 8 slots in the Amu Mothership’s Huge Hangers, while a Fast Destroyer, Light Cruiser or Patrol Cruiser will take 2 slots.

Amu Mothership had HH 12
Riavash Cruiser had 1
Mac Carrier 4

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 Post subject: Re: The Invasion Begins: an unoffical Andromedan discussion
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:43 pm 
Cosmic Mongoose

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storeylf wrote:
Da Boss wrote:
but with the caveat that ACTA does not have any restricitons on ships selected for games.....


Whilst I would normally agree with that, this is one area I would disagree. The disdev thing always felt far more about technical limits (to many disdev device armed vessels cause rifts in space to open up etc) rather than just some doctrine limit - like ISC or escorts. I would actually stick to the 2 disdev ship limit for andros.


Major flaw with that though: It makes scaling up nightmare. Basically there will be point limit after which andro's will be unplayable.

Works fine as long as 2 disdev ships is all you want but say 5k game. Those disdev's will have no major impact and andro's selection would drop very low.

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 Post subject: Re: The Invasion Begins: an unoffical Andromedan discussion
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:08 pm 
Banded Mongoose

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Alot of the Drakh rules from B5 'might' be usable in regard to the Andros. Possibly, the PA's could be looked at as a form of 'GEG' (Gravetic Energy Grid) system - this, in B5, reduced/stoped damage by it's level (so a GEG3 would stop the first 3 damage of any salvo fired at it, though criticals - rolls of 6 on the damage chart - went straight though). As weapon systems in B5 had more AD, the level of grid would have to be set - or possibly used as the rate the ship can absorb/bleed off energy.

As far as fleet structure goes, do you link it to game size (?), with Motherships only available per XXXpts (750pts ? minimum per Mothership). General concenus seems to be that no limits should be applied, but the discussion on the ISC and PPD's, and Escorts seem to show that the gaming community here might tolerate some limits.

The DisDev thing is handlable in larger games by having 2 points values for the mother ships - one for an active and one for a passive DisDev on the ship. Maybe, as a fleet rule, you could have the ability to 'active' a DisDev during a game (when an active system is destroyed during the game), with a victory point cost - an idea for 'bigger games' (3000pts>)

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 Post subject: Re: The Invasion Begins: an unoffical Andromedan discussion
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:19 pm 
Banded Mongoose

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tneva82 wrote:
Major flaw with that though: It makes scaling up nightmare. Basically there will be point limit after which andro's will be unplayable.

Works fine as long as 2 disdev ships is all you want but say 5k game. Those disdev's will have no major impact and andro's selection would drop very low.


Oh I am fully aware of that. But that is just part of the SFU, Andro don't field mega large fleets like the other powers do because they are unable to operate multile mother ships together. And just as SFB and FC each have levels at which I play so will ACTA, I never played SFB decades ago with more than about 6 ships between both sides, I have never gone beyond 1000pts in FC, and I can't ever see me going much beyond about 2000pts in ACTA. Sure others might, and there is no reason why you couldn't ignore such rules if you wanted to fight those mega games.

The 2 disdev limit would allow for something like a 2500 pts Andro force, with 2 dominators and their satellite ships, assuming they point over at about the same ratio as others. Battles larger than that in themselves are somewhat contrary to the SFU due to the limits on command that universe applies.

It's one of those awkward issue, I'm not hugely keen on allowing ISC to ignore PPD limits, it goes against the background, but as a doctrine issue is the sort of thing that might happen in extremis. Part of what makes any 'game universe' good is the fluff, ignoring things like the disdev limit means you are no longer really playing SFU. But then in our FC group we tend to stick to roughly 'historical' matchups/campaigns, we don't normally pit Gorns against hydran or lyran for example. It doesn't overly bother me that such matchups may be somewhat unbalanced, a long as 'historical' neighbours are. Just as I don't concern myself that Parthians vs ancient britons is balanced or not in historical wargaming, because, well it isn't historical.


Last edited by storeylf on Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Invasion Begins: an unoffical Andromedan discussion
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:22 pm 
Greater Spotted Mongoose

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I was checking the Fall of Demorak campaign in SFB Module C3A to see how the larger battles there were handled; while the Demorak campaign had six Dominators and ten Intruders committed to the assault, each round of combat seemed to have only two motherships show up at a time. (But then, there are notes in other modules that refer to set-piece encounters in which more than two motherships show up in the same battle, due to the first pair switching off their DisDevs in order to let the others arrive.)

While I do believe that the two-DisDev limit should be maintained, I think the case for this would be helped considerably if it turns out that the Neo-Tholians get a limit on web caster deployment (in the Milky Way); that precedent, should there be one, would not only help make the kind of fleets the Neos could field back in the Home Galaxy suitably daunting (unless you've got a Seltorian Battlewagon or two!) but would feed into both the PPD discussion and the issue of DisDev limitations.

That said, I think the limit should be a "soft" one, not a "hard" one; I do think that more than two DisDev-equipped ships should be allowed to be on the table, even if no more than two are allowed to activate theirs at once.

(I don't think there should be a point discount for those that don't get to start off using theirs, however; since they would have the ability to activate theirs once the first pair starts to die or flee.)


Also, I screwed up with the Phasers-2; I'll edit the ship stats accordingly.


(Oh, and in terms of ships, one thing I really hope is that ACtA:SF offers the chance to see the Devastator Battleship brought over; I think it was a shame it was skipped for FC: War and Peace, and this game would be ideal for handling the kind of large-scale encounters a Devastator would operate in. Plus, not only were they operational in the "dark future" timeline, their dissection-beam-armed Devourer variants were, too...)

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 Post subject: Re: The Invasion Begins: an unoffical Andromedan discussion
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:25 pm 
Banded Mongoose

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Nerroth wrote:
(Oh, and in terms of ships, one thing I really hope is that ACtA:SF offers the chance to see the Devastator Battleship brought over; I think it was a shame it was skipped for FC: War and Peace, and this game would be ideal for handling the kind of large-scale encounters a Devastator would operate in. Plus, not only were they operational in the "dark future" timeline, their dissection-beam-armed Devourer variants were, too...)


Well if there are bigger ships than the dominator then the points limit the andro can operate at with a 2 mothership limit is even larger than what I said above.


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 Post subject: Re: The Invasion Begins: an unoffical Andromedan discussion
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:37 pm 
Greater Spotted Mongoose

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I don't have Module R5 to hand right now, so can't check the point value for the Devastator; but the Devourer variant in C3A comes in at 660 BPV. (A bargain compared to the 768-point Juggernaut BB, of course.)

Plus the DEV, if I recall correctly, would have 36 hangar bay points; the DVR has "only" 28, with some of the space taken out in order to make room for those nasty dissection beams. Either way, even one battleship would not only push the fleet point cost up by itself, but would also allow for more satellite ships to be taken.

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 Post subject: Re: The Invasion Begins: an unoffical Andromedan discussion
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:12 pm 
Banded Mongoose

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As, it appears, there are 3 ships that carry DisDev's, maybe the issue isn't so much 'how many ?' as 'what size ?'. I assume that the size starters around the BCH level (all my FC stuff is packed away at mo), then DN, then BB - each with an increase in hanger size. I don't feel the points for these will be minor, and when the satelite ships are added in :?:

The system is ideal for the BB to make an appearance, and the '2 Disdev limit' will give the fleet some flavour in it's construction at different point values - smaller fleets will have either the smaller (or no) ships with these and satelite ships, with the bigger ships as the fleet grows in points.

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 Post subject: Re: The Invasion Begins: an unoffical Andromedan discussion
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 8:05 pm 
Banded Mongoose

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Keeper Nilbog wrote:
As, it appears, there are 3 ships that carry DisDev's, maybe the issue isn't so much 'how many ?' as 'what size ?'. I assume that the size starters around the BCH level (all my FC stuff is packed away at mo), then DN, then BB - each with an increase in hanger size. I don't feel the points for these will be minor, and when the satelite ships are added in :?:

The system is ideal for the BB to make an appearance, and the '2 Disdev limit' will give the fleet some flavour in it's construction at different point values - smaller fleets will have either the smaller (or no) ships with these and satelite ships, with the bigger ships as the fleet grows in points.



There are more than 3 disdev ships even in FC.

Python, a satelite ship with 1 disdev.
Conquistador - the smallest mother ships, can carry 1 cobra. Has 1 disdev.
Intruder - the mid size mother ship, can carry 3 cobras/2 mambas, 2 disdev (and 80 pt 'shields').
Dominator - the big daddy in FC, can carry 6 cobra/4 mamba, 4 disdev (and 130 pt 'shields').

As Nerroth notes, there are others in SFB that are not in FC.

Interesting to see how they do damage rating, Andro mother ships have a chunk of cargo, so the domintaor would be looking at about 60 damage without or 78 with going by usual damage ratios.

It should be noted that andro are often a good bit weaker in the rear, there is a 50 point difference on a Dom between front and back, it is possible that they won't convert over by just taking the front 'shield' as Nerroth has done.

So 2 doms fuly loaded is 2 ships that are more like battleships in some ways and 8-12 destroyerish size ships, about 2000pts in FC (by previous points conversions, ~2500pts in ACTA).

Just to clarify, it isn't a 2 disdev limit in FC, it is 2 ships with Disdevs. That woud be up to 8 useable disdevs on 2 Doms.


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 Post subject: Re: The Invasion Begins: an unoffical Andromedan discussion
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:52 am 
Greater Spotted Mongoose

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As I noted in an earlier post, there are (low-toner) Ship Cards in FC for two other DisDev-equipped Andro units, the Recon Cobra and Galleon transport; the former should be given formal publication in the upcoming FC: Reinforcements Attack module, along with the Viper frigate and Satellite Base.

Also, I was able to dig out my copy of R5. The Devastator clocks in at 610 BPV, would indeed have 36 hangar points (in FC terms) and comes with twenty phasers-2, six TRHs, and no less than six Displacement Devices. (The Devourer strips out two TRHs and two DisDevs, along with two C Hull boxes, two transporters and eight points of hangar bay space; all to make room for four dissection beams. And it still costs 50 BPV more!)

-----

In case anyone is wondering about what lies on the other side of the timeline divide, the dissection beam is a weapon encountered by the "dark future" Federation; the details of which were passed along to the Darwin by the alternate timeline advanced technology scout Canaris (as part of the chunk of data the latter ship was able to transmit before it was destroyed). Fortunately, the Andros never got around to deploying it in the main timeline; though a best guess at how the system worked duly went into the simulators "just in case".

On the surface, it may not seem all that dangerous a weapon. It is limited to a range of eight hexes, uses the same damage table as the TRH in the range it does have, and only works properly if the target ship is locked in a tractor beam. (If fired at a ship not currently being tractored, the DSB needs to roll a die to see if it actually hits, before it can make its actual damage roll.)

However, the real trick comes up when you see what the weapon does once it actually hits. In SFB, the Damage Allocation Chart is based on a 2D6; you roll to see how each damage point lands, working your way through the different entries one at a time, and mark off boxes as destroyed appropriately. (The DAC in FC is somewhat more streamlined than this.) What the dissection beam does is kill every box of the same type at once, and in a way which cannot be repaired; the system is literally shorn off the target ship.

For example, say that a ship with a dissection beam is firing at a Fed CA, which has 15-box warp nacelles. If the beam hits with 20 points of damage, and the Andro rolls a 9 on 2D6 (starting with L Warp) it will use the first 15 points to rip off the entire left warp nacelle, and then shear away 5 forward hull boxes. And so far as the hapless Fed is concerned, it won't be getting any of that back short of having a new engine (and bowling alley) installed at a major shipyard.


While this weapon is "real", in the alternate timeline at least, it may not be relevant to players in the main timeline outside of the simulators.

Still, if you really wanted to play with it, you could take a TRH, reduce the range to 8 (or maybe 6; overload range), have the Accurate Trait only work if the target ship is under tractor, and make all criticals scored by the weapon unrecoverable. (If we switch the TR beams to storeylf's suggestions, you could also add Devastating +1 to the DSB; compounding the hurt this terrifying weapon can inflict up close.)

-----

And speaking of the alternate TRs, they don't look too bad; though I was hoping to not have them work too closely to the tachyon guns I've been trying to work on over in the Omega thread. (Not that anyone else might care about that, but still.)

I can see getting rid of Devastating +1 (and potentially adding it back for a would-be DSB); but I think Accurate +3 is a bit much. +2 is enough of a shift.

-----

I liike the idea of a consolidated die roll for the offensive DisDev use; though I would still keep the Reload trait, for what it's worth.

-----

In terms of PA panels, what if the threshold was factored into the actual ship stat, akin to how the damage score is split into two? As in, along with a Damage score of 12/4 for the Cobra, it would get a PA Panel score of 40/10 (or 40/whatever). That would essentially treat a suitably stuffed set of panels as being "compromised" once it gets at or below the second number; and avoid having to work out the fractions for yourself.

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 Post subject: Re: The Invasion Begins: an unoffical Andromedan discussion
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:48 am 
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I stopped getting captains logs a while ago.

Where is this Alternate dark future federation from?

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 Post subject: Re: The Invasion Begins: an unoffical Andromedan discussion
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:56 am 
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So, the Darwin does a 'Yesterday's Enterprise' - cool.

This sounds like an interesting fleet, with lots of different abilities and interesting weapons.

In the TV series was it the Andomedans who could could convert people into polystyrene d20s?

Ok, dodecahedrons.

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 Post subject: Re: The Invasion Begins: an unoffical Andromedan discussion
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:30 pm 
Greater Spotted Mongoose

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The first time we saw the Darwin's Adventures In Time was in a scenario published in SFB Module X1; which shows the advanced technology Third Battle Squadron try to sell themselves dearly enough against an oncoming Devastator battleship to allow for the Darwin's return to "our" Y195.

More recently, the "dark future" encountered by the Darwin was expanded upon in SFB Module C3A: The Andromedan Threat File; which, among many other things, includes weapon rules for the Dissection Beam, SSDs for the four DSB variants encountered by the alternate Star Fleet, and a mini-campaign covering the historical fall of Demorak, the capital of the Lyran Democratic Republic (which also happened in Y195).


It hasn't been confirmed or denied whether or not the Andromedans are the Kelvans or not; it's not clear if that particular "trivideo episode" is based on an actual SFU event. (In any case, Star Fleet's first confirmed encounter with an Andromedan mothership was in Y166, whereas that certain "five-year mission" ranged from Y154 to Y159.) Plus, even if the Kelvans do exist in the SFU, they need not be the only species to emerge from the Andromeda Galaxy.

I don't know whether or not the ambiguity is down to licensing issues or not; but in any event, I doubt we'll ever see any sort of offcial word on just who, or what, the Andros truly are.

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