Stealth - A New Approach

Discuss Mongoose miniatures game here, including Mighty Armies, Gangs of Mega-City One, and Battlefield Evolution.
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Burger
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Postby Burger » Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:42 pm

One of JMS's usenet posts:
http://www.midwinter.com/lurk/find/Usen ... et/98.html
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Postby angelus2000 » Mon Oct 09, 2006 3:05 pm

KK, now thats funny, lol.
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Postby Locutus9956 » Mon Oct 09, 2006 3:08 pm

Granted its not perfect, for the very reason Burger points out but I would propose altering the ships so that they did not rely quite so heavily on stealth for survival.

Again in B5Wars the way to beat this was exactly as you would expect to motor in at full speed and blast away at point blank range asap, but then in B5wars Minbari ships werent made of tissue paper, they were a BIT weaker than the enemies and used the jammers to make up for this along with their range advantage but they were dogmeat once you got past stealth either.

In ACTA my version of the Minbari with this stealth rule would be in general 1 point of hull tougher (as part of the stealth rules, this extra point of toughness though would ALSO be lost if stealth failed) and have maybe as much as another 10" range on their weapons (though I would also tweak their dmg/crew values accordingly so as to not make them TOO good...) First ones would flat out IGNORE the range penalty from stealth though not the extra hull point.


Also heres an alternate idea: All rolls to hit a stealth target need 6 to hit regardless of traits, beams however once they have hit once roll to CONTINUE to hit based on the targets actual score number (once the target is hit with the inital volley stealth doesnt matter as it continues to slice): ie:

3 ad of sap lasers, at a hull 4 stealth target: roll a 3, 4 and 6 for one hit (6+ needed)

it now only needs a 3 to score a second hit as the target is only actually hull 4 and the sap trait DOES apply except for the initial shot that only needs 6s due to the stealth systems.

Just throwing some ideas out there as I really think ACTA's biggest weakness is that the games can be far too dice influenced, more often than not in ACTA I find the winner or loser is determined more by dice luck than actual tactics...
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Postby Ripple » Mon Oct 09, 2006 3:23 pm

I suggested in another thread that just upping the hull number of a stealthed target was a good way to go (we suggested a +1 or a +2 to be determined by testing, always lost if stealth roll was made.). Rather than the flat 6, possibly followed by something else, it kept the mechanic simple. Because of how AP and SAP work (ie helping you hit) they retain their value even if a ship has effective hull of 7 say. This way ships with hull 4 also stay in the same relative postion balance wise with their hull 5 or hull 6 fleet mates.

I think lord david mentioned that fluff wise individualy rolling for each weapon did not make sense as the ship has one central sensor controller, but we already have determined that ships weapon all have their own targeting within the rules. Look at how scouts improve one weapon per ship per scout and tell me that all the sensors are tied through one controller.

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Postby Tredrick » Mon Oct 09, 2006 3:25 pm

Long ago I suggested a special action:

Sturation Fire:

Nominate a target. No other targets in that fire arc may be attacked. Weapons that are not twin-linked lose half their AD. All weapons fired at that target lose the Percise and Twin-linked traits. Attacks ignore stealth and may not be dodged.

Not sure what the CQ check should be.
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Postby Nomad » Mon Oct 09, 2006 3:38 pm

Burger wrote;
"Direct Sensors That Way!" CQ 8+
Nominate one enemy target. All the ship's sensors are directed towards this target, in a desperate attempt to break its stealth. If the CQ check succeeds you may re-roll a failed stealth check once against the declared target, but you may not fire at any other targets.
I like this idea a lot.

One thing I'd suggest though, is that whatever new Stealth mechanic is adopted, Early Years EA are *not* allowed to use it.

In fact, I'd go further, and say they should be limited to the SFoS stealth modifiers. According to the TV show, Earth was totally fracked by Minbari stealth in 2245-7, and, as an EA player, I'm happy to see that reflected in the game. However, we do learn fast, and I don't see any reason that as the EA's ships get better after that war, there sensors wouldn't improve also, so 3rd age and Crusade EA fleets would have the same anti-stealth capability as other younger races.
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Postby Burger » Mon Oct 09, 2006 3:47 pm

Nomad wrote:One thing I'd suggest though, is that whatever new Stealth mechanic is adopted, Early Years EA are *not* allowed to use it.

In fact, I'd go further, and say they should be limited to the SFoS stealth modifiers. According to the TV show, Earth was totally fracked by Minbari stealth in 2245-7
They still hadn't broken it after that. They were very surprised that they could get a lock on the Trigati, in fact thats how they knew it had stealth switched off.

Stealth will never work how it did in the show... it would basically mean "only Shadows and Vorlons can shoot Minbari"...
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Postby H » Mon Oct 09, 2006 3:55 pm

or E-mines
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Postby captainsmirk » Mon Oct 09, 2006 4:09 pm

Burger wrote:They still hadn't broken it after that. They were very surprised that they could get a lock on the Trigati, in fact thats how they knew it had stealth switched off.
Actually Sheridan mentions that B5 has E-M war vintage sensors and thats why they shouldn't be able to lock onto the Trigati if it didn't have its Stealth system active.

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Postby Tank » Mon Oct 09, 2006 4:21 pm

The Sensor package on B5 was actually the standard EA sensor package, also used on Omega's at the time.

Personally I think the new stealth rules are fine.
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Postby Alexb83 » Mon Oct 09, 2006 4:41 pm

I think the option to sacrifice dice and crits but still throw out some potential damage is good. Novas would do well to throw out 6 weak dice in broadside, rather than none at all. There's no reason why at close range, manual targetting wouldn't work (and completely eliminate stealth). It wouldn't be as accurate (represented by losing special traits and becoming weak), however you couldn't fail to put some shots on a target within certain ranges. Minbari stealth isn't a romulan cloak - you can't help but see the big blue ship, even if the computer insists it's not there.

I haven't had the chance to try the newer stealth rules, but in the older system either one of the special actions proposed would have been a good idea.
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Postby philogara » Mon Oct 09, 2006 4:47 pm

captainsmirk wrote:
Burger wrote:They still hadn't broken it after that. They were very surprised that they could get a lock on the Trigati, in fact thats how they knew it had stealth switched off.
Actually Sheridan mentions that B5 has E-M war vintage sensors and thats why they shouldn't be able to lock onto the Trigati if it didn't have its Stealth system active.

Nick
Dpending on how you took that conversation, Sheridan did seem to imply EA had equipment that could see through the Stealth (checking the model of the sensors fitted with Ivanova). Conversely of course, if he thought EA had the tech, why be surprised in the first place that they could see the ships?
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Postby captainsmirk » Mon Oct 09, 2006 4:54 pm

Well whether hew meant that they could penetrate it would he still said that the B5 had old sensors, and we know for a fact that they can't see through stealth (all other sources)...

And in fact would there be any point in making that statement if their new sensors were no better...

Plus I wasn't saying that they could completely penetrate Minbari stealth, just that their new sensors are so totally screwed up by it (you would imagine that they have been putting their efforts into that area, just in case...)

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Postby Nomad » Mon Oct 09, 2006 5:04 pm

Well, the idea was to give some period feel to the E-M war, but since it's proved so controversial, proposal withdrawn.
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Postby Target » Mon Oct 09, 2006 5:29 pm

The change to bulkheads roll 1-4 for bulkheads 5-6 normal hit sounds a good idea & increase hull idea is good. Far better than current stealth. Maybe we could have a combination of both ideas.
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Postby Hash » Mon Oct 09, 2006 5:38 pm

I don't mind many of the ideas here but would prefer something very simple as my brain hurts when I try to think too much ;)
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Postby lastbesthope » Mon Oct 09, 2006 7:54 pm

philogara wrote:Dpending on how you took that conversation, Sheridan did seem to imply EA had equipment that could see through the Stealth (checking the model of the sensors fitted with Ivanova). Conversely of course, if he thought EA had the tech, why be surprised in the first place that they could see the ships?
I don't see it that way, I saw it that he was checking that the B5 sensors were not new ones that might have been improved since the ones he last used in anger at the Minbari. B5 being as underfunded as it was, it makes sense that it had 10 year old kit.

As for the stealth thing being per weapon, what about a campaign upgrade:

Improved sensor suite:
Nominate one arc, when firing on a stealthed ship in that arc you may make 1 stealth roll per weapon system targeting that vessel rather than 1 roll total. This benefit applies to all stealthed targets in that arc that are being attacked.

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Postby Commador Q » Tue Oct 10, 2006 1:11 am

my sugestion for stealth:
instead of having stealth roles being a "you can hit" or "you can't hit" affair, why not make a failed stealth role result in a doge score for the stealthed ship (this dodge role ignores AF weapon's benefits and therefor is still usefull for fighters).

So every stealth score would have a target number that if defeated the stealthed ship can be fired on normally, amd a doge value that is applied if the stealth role is failed.

additionally stealth values should be generally increased, And possable values expanded to include numbers grater than 6 which would require stealth breaking technology (a scout, scanner to full, etc) to succeed at the stealth role.

Finally Stealth roles should be made before the player declairs his targets (after all you would know which ships you computer can and can't lock on to).

So for example a Minbari Sharlin might have tealth 8+/2+,
so if a Nova tries to broadside it the scenario may look like this;
first the nova captain tries to lock onto the Sharlin, but he doesn't have any stealth defeating technology so it is futile, however that isn't going to stop him from trying to shoot the darn thing out of the sky so he declairs all 12 AD will fire at the sharlin.
let's say he get's 8 hits
because the nova failed to break the Sharlin's stealth it hets a 2+ dodge, evaiding all but one of the 8 hits. The Sharlin takes signifigantly less damage than it would have had it not had stealth, but a determined capatain can still do damage to it without ever actually defeating it's stealth.

This way it can be made impossable/nearly imposable for some races to actually defeat the stealth of the more advanced races, while not totally disalowing them the ability to fight against stealthed enemies.
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Postby Target » Tue Oct 10, 2006 3:42 am

Personally i like the bulkhead hit idea, fits in with the show a bit more as the sharlins get hit but no damage seems to be done. Scrap the range modifiers to stealth, 5+ is just what you have roll, could be modded by Crew Quality eg Veterans would need 4+ & Green and below would need 6's. Only precise weapons capable of getting crits on failed stealth roll maybe not sure really. Probably need to add +1 to hull as well with current stats maybe even +2 but that might a bit strong.
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Postby lastbesthope » Tue Oct 10, 2006 6:27 pm

Commador Q wrote:Finally Stealth roles should be made before the player declairs his targets (after all you would know which ships you computer can and can't lock on to).
No they shouldn't for the following reasons:

1) IRL, Stealth and ECM can produce false locks, but the attacker doesn't know that.

2) It allows the attacker to save all his weaponry until he m akes a Stealth rolll that succeeds, not really fair compared to the current rules.

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