why have the Kizinti been neutered?

Discuss Mongoose miniatures game here, including Mighty Armies, Gangs of Mega-City One, and Battlefield Evolution.
User avatar
Da Boss
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 7221
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 5:49 pm
Location: UK

Re: why have the Kizinti been neutered?

Postby Da Boss » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:54 pm

Stu-- wrote:Don't get me wrong I'm all for simplicity...

but the current drone rules definitely don't work as per the source material.
It can't be 'right' that a ship which has fired first in initiative is allowed to become a target magnet for the rest of the turn because it can no longer defend itself.
That's just not fun, for either player to be honest.
The current drone rules do work - they may or may not fit the soruce material but even the SFU games vary how they do things - ACTA has its limitations as to how much it can adapt and still work as a game.

A ship that fires first is chosen by the firing player for variable reasons - its going to kill an enemy with a alpha strike, its going to get killed, its trying to make another ship go on the defensive etc etc

This is an important part of the game and what choices a player will make - it Can defend itself if you hold back firepower - tactical choices - thats what its all about and to me IS part of the fun.

On the other hand - its always good to have new ideas thrown out there - thats what forums like this one are for.........
Keeper Nilbog
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 319
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:45 pm
Location: South Wales - Bridgend
Contact:

Re: why have the Kizinti been neutered?

Postby Keeper Nilbog » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:56 pm

Holding phasers for defensive fireis the standard on the plasma side of the universe, so if romulan's can make this tactic work - anyone can. :shock: :o
Real Plasma users don't hide - No, we just lumber along until someone is stupid enough to get infront of us.

Plasma is a Gorn's best friend
Greylond
Mongoose
Posts: 163
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:53 am

Re: why have the Kizinti been neutered?

Postby Greylond » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:05 pm

Greg Smith wrote:Just to point out that tracking drones as counters was tried out in playtesting. One playtest game reportedly had as many as 70 drones counters on the table.
Yea, old hat for SFB Kzin players. I've played SFB with a fleet of Kzin ships firing 12+ drones each. It's not for everyone but for some running that many drones isn't that big of a deal once you get used to it. :)
User avatar
scoutdad
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 777
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:23 pm
Location: Middle Tennessee
Contact:

Re: why have the Kizinti been neutered?

Postby scoutdad » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:12 pm

msprange wrote:Just to chip in, I have just had a look at one new Kzinti ship that wikll be appearing in Fleet Update #2. I don't think there will be anyone thinking the Kzinti have been neutered when they see this one :)
8) Rubs hands together greedily and says, "gimme... gimmee..."
User avatar
scoutdad
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 777
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:23 pm
Location: Middle Tennessee
Contact:

Re: why have the Kizinti been neutered?

Postby scoutdad » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:17 pm

Greg Smith wrote:Just to point out that tracking drones as counters was tried out in playtesting. One playtest game reportedly had as many as 70 drones counters on the table.
I was involved in that game.
And coming from a 30+ year background of playing Kzin in SFB, the number of drones dodn't scare us. Tracking / moving the counters didn't scare us... keeping track of which shield was hit didn't scare us...
But having to track that many counters and record the impact location (as it could change depending on whether the target moved or not) was a logistical nightmare. Not because it couldn't be done... we created a handy little laminated sheet to record all the info on.
It was a night mare because it turned what should have been a two hour game into a 3 1/2 to 4 hour game.
User avatar
Da Boss
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 7221
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 5:49 pm
Location: UK

Re: why have the Kizinti been neutered?

Postby Da Boss » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:18 pm

Greylond wrote:
Greg Smith wrote:Just to point out that tracking drones as counters was tried out in playtesting. One playtest game reportedly had as many as 70 drones counters on the table.
Yea, old hat for SFB Kzin players. I've played SFB with a fleet of Kzin ships firing 12+ drones each. It's not for everyone but for some running that many drones isn't that big of a deal once you get used to it. :)
Its def not for me - thats why we have different games as we all have different tastes :)
Stu--
Mongoose
Posts: 146
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:50 pm

Re: why have the Kizinti been neutered?

Postby Stu-- » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:40 pm

Suggesting not to fire weapons because the enemy may fire at you doesn't really work though does it.. do I not fire any of my ships weapons in case I get twelve drones dumped on me later in the turn?

If I did that I basically wouldn't fire at all and then he can ignore that ship and fire at some other ship anyway.

The fix to this is of course defensive fire...
Greylond
Mongoose
Posts: 163
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:53 am

Re: why have the Kizinti been neutered?

Postby Greylond » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:41 pm

scoutdad wrote:
Greg Smith wrote:Just to point out that tracking drones as counters was tried out in playtesting. One playtest game reportedly had as many as 70 drones counters on the table.
I was involved in that game.
And coming from a 30+ year background of playing Kzin in SFB, the number of drones dodn't scare us. Tracking / moving the counters didn't scare us... keeping track of which shield was hit didn't scare us...
But having to track that many counters and record the impact location (as it could change depending on whether the target moved or not) was a logistical nightmare. Not because it couldn't be done... we created a handy little laminated sheet to record all the info on.
It was a night mare because it turned what should have been a two hour game into a 3 1/2 to 4 hour game.
I can respect that. I loved playing Kzin in the old days, so without seeing how y'all were doing it I can't really say if it would have been too much for me.

What I can see is the result, while simplier to play, doesn't really feel like Kzin to me. I can respect wanting a simplified game system but IMO the result changes the flavor/feel of the old game. :)
billclo
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1362
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:43 pm
Location: Hanover PA

Re: why have the Kizinti been neutered?

Postby billclo » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:45 pm

Stu-- wrote:Suggesting not to fire weapons because the enemy may fire at you doesn't really work though does it.. do I not fire any of my ships weapons in case I get twelve drones dumped on me later in the turn?

If I did that I basically wouldn't fire at all and then he can ignore that ship and fire at some other ship anyway.

The fix to this is of course defensive fire...
The only real "solution" with the current rules is to put all your ships on IDF, which is far from optimum. I would like to try out the new escorts at some point and see how they work out.
User avatar
Da Boss
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 7221
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 5:49 pm
Location: UK

Re: why have the Kizinti been neutered?

Postby Da Boss » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:47 pm

Stu-- wrote:Suggesting not to fire weapons because the enemy may fire at you doesn't really work though does it.. do I not fire any of my ships weapons in case I get twelve drones dumped on me later in the turn?

If I did that I basically wouldn't fire at all and then he can ignore that ship and fire at some other ship anyway.

The fix to this is of course defensive fire...
yes it does.

You choose how you fire weapons based on a number of factors

I am going to be shot and what by
Do I sacrifice this ship to kill another or make it less likely to target me or another ship
Do I just fire the non phaser weapons and keep phasers for defence - Kzinti, Klingons and Federation - the pimary drone users - all have other weapons.
Is your ship covered by an escort ship
etc
etc

Its all about the tactical use of specific weapons and ships.
Keeper Nilbog
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 319
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:45 pm
Location: South Wales - Bridgend
Contact:

Re: why have the Kizinti been neutered?

Postby Keeper Nilbog » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:22 pm

Both main 'seeking' weapons feel different under the ActA system, but they do 'work' as is - not perfectly, but work they do. Alot of the issues are down to people wanting a 'faithful' modelling of the core systems (SFB/FC - which are different anyway) for this game - and while i'm one of them (though it's plasma with me, not drones, as i play the one true race - GORN :D ) - it just isn't going to happen in that way.

Currently, the main concern 'I' have is the effectiveness of phasers v plasma, the the rather large amount of heavy drone using ships for races other than Kzinti (Fed, Klingon). The 'wave' effect is still there, it's just not on the table (ask the D6 that gets 12 drones thrown at it (3 waves of 4) if it's being swamped or not, and with the change to >18" range, Kzinti ships follow up as they would (you want to be under 18" - no roll to hit), whereas before they sat at 30" odd and shelled you - not the Kzinti tactic from the core systems.

Seeker's are the one thing that appear to constantly 'reappear' in regard game balance - not phasers, photons, disruptors (though comments have been made) - as they are different in how they work. Is the balance right yet - not sure, but it's better than it was. (and as far as plasma goes, i need a few more games at 1500 points, small games in ActA were never that balanced as it's a fleet system, and 3 ships do not a fleet make), but drones are still the most dangerous 'ranged' weapon in the game (i'd say phasers are the best, but only in KZ if offensive).
Real Plasma users don't hide - No, we just lumber along until someone is stupid enough to get infront of us.

Plasma is a Gorn's best friend
User avatar
Greg Smith
Warlord Mongoose
Posts: 8849
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2003 10:58 am
Location: Kettering UK
Contact:

Re: why have the Kizinti been neutered?

Postby Greg Smith » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:48 pm

Stu-- wrote:Suggesting not to fire weapons because the enemy may fire at you doesn't really work though does it.. do I not fire any of my ships weapons in case I get twelve drones dumped on me later in the turn?

If I did that I basically wouldn't fire at all and then he can ignore that ship and fire at some other ship anyway.

The fix to this is of course defensive fire...
You don't have to keep all your weapons in defense. Keep some phasers, keep phaser 3s and rely on ADD and tractor beams. If all else fails take it on your shields.
"Bringer of Warmth, Carrier of Carrion, Prophet of Dilgarness, Speaker of all thing Llort!"

Part-time Narn.

ACTA playtester
Victorious Grand Admiral
Stu--
Mongoose
Posts: 146
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:50 pm

Re: why have the Kizinti been neutered?

Postby Stu-- » Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:10 pm

take it on the shields...?

you mean get hit by the potentially nastiest weapon in the game?

that's not exactly what I had in mind for 'taking it' Greg (although in fairness at least they can't bypass shields)
archon96
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 410
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:55 pm

Re: why have the Kizinti been neutered?

Postby archon96 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:19 pm

its only 1d6 of damage per drone same as a AD of plasma no big deal.
We Gorn have a saying. "Romulans taste like chicken. Their finger licking good."
Stu--
Mongoose
Posts: 146
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:50 pm

Re: why have the Kizinti been neutered?

Postby Stu-- » Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:28 pm

On average it's the nastiest non-overloaded hit in the game. (3 pts) (yep including photons - they do 4 every other turn or 2/turn)
And if it hits the hull it's devastating..
I reckon that's pretty bad.
User avatar
Da Boss
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 7221
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 5:49 pm
Location: UK

Re: why have the Kizinti been neutered?

Postby Da Boss » Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:43 pm

I'll repeat this as its still relevant

You choose how you fire weapons based on a number of factors

I am going to be shot and what by
Do I sacrifice this ship to kill another or make it less likely to target me or another ship
Do I just fire the non phaser weapons and keep phasers for defence - Kzinti, Klingons and Federation - the pimary drone users - all have other weapons.
Is your ship covered by an escort ship
etc
etc

Its all about the tactical use of specific weapons and ships.
McKinstry
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 751
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 10:13 pm
Location: Atlanta,GA

Re: why have the Kizinti been neutered?

Postby McKinstry » Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:45 pm

Having not liked the feel or play of the old game primarily due to drones, not playing like SFB is a good thing.

That said, escorts really need play testing to be certain that they don't completely nerf plasma or drones. The game is not SFB or FC and should not play or feel similar except in the broadest of terms but, as with any good game, the playable factions have to be balanced so that every player has a chance to win via gameplay and not simply force selection.
billclo
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1362
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:43 pm
Location: Hanover PA

Re: why have the Kizinti been neutered?

Postby billclo » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:03 pm

Well it kind of depends on several factors if you are going to let some of those drones hit you.

1) are you a Klingon and the hit is on the front shield (big reduction in damage)?
2) Did you use Boost Shields this turn? Doubly good if you are a Klingon and the hit is on the front shield.
3) Is it late in the turn and you can absorb the damage to the shields and can run away from the battle next turn to recharge shields?
4) Will it let you deliver a killing blow with your now freed-up phasers on an nearby enemy ship and there aren't many drones left that can be fired at you (it's late in the Attack Phase and there aren't many ships that haven't fired drones that can hit you)?

It's sometimes a tough question to answer.
storeylf
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 319
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:38 pm

Re: why have the Kizinti been neutered?

Postby storeylf » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:21 pm

Some more thoughts, I was going to say something like this in the plasma thread, but here is just as good.

The problem with IDF, and to be honest all the special actions that require a crew check, is that it is far to unreliable. A properly trained crew fails important, but fairly basic, stuff 50% of the time. Apart from feeling rather odd that good crews fail so often at such stuff, it often means the game feels like a crap shoot, as to many important things rely on a small handful of 50/50 rolls.

It means that at the start of a turn it is hard to plan what you intend to do, there is way too big a chance of failure on any individual unit, and way too high a variance for any group of units.

IDF in particular is a bad one, and often feels useless unless you are playing in large games with lots of ships. If I have 1 ship then clearly IDF is useless. If I have 2 ships then IDF is probably useless - unless both successfully IDF then the drone user just shoots the one who got IDF. The same happens even at 5 or 6 ships, you start the turn not being sure who will or will not make it, and if an expected 2 or 3 make it then the enemy 5 or 6 ships will target 2 of them. On the other hand you can roll well and the poor plasma user wonders how he is meant to damage you having just got in range.

Now it may be situationally useful with just a few ships, for example if you can be sure the IDF ships will be at 18"+ and therefore poor targets. But even then, you roll for ship 1 and fail - do you now move him on the chance the other will succeed or not?

I like the SA idea, it is nice mechanic and I'm not against it maybe failing. But the 50/50 for the standard crew is just way to luck dependent. I'd like to see trained crews perform the SAs with a 2+ to succeed (i.e target number = 6). That makes it possible to actually make plans for what you want to do with some expectation that it will more or less go as you want. The chance of failure still means that something can go wrong, but if you have allowed a bit of redundancy in your plan then you can cope in most cases as there is far less variance.

Veteran crews and elite crews would effectively be auto succes for SAs, but that feels OK to me, they are your best crews and can be expected to always perform 'basic' actions. Poor crews are where the chance of failure goes up and are crews you can't rely on, especially if they have the -1 from a crew crit. Vets and Elites are differentiated by the -1 crew check (elites still auto a SA whreas Vets don't), repairs, or the roll of 9+ to stop escalation.

Evade is even worse, currently you have 50% chance of success (standard crew) but, for seekers, that is only to allow you about another 50% chance of success. With a lower target roll then evade may become a more useful SA against seekers if you are running out of mutual support.

Having IDF be a lot more likely would go a long way to reducing the damaging effect of drones, they will still soak up phasers like nobodies business, which is more their main purpose in SFU. Indeed the 3 drone ship limit could probably be removed as it is a clunky rule (and requires tracking who has drones who, which slows things down and we like simpler games!) to compensate for easier IDF and evade.

It would also effect plasma as they would be shot down much more, but plasma could be boosted to compensate, increasing AD to say:

F = 3AD
G = 4AD
S = 6AD
R = 10AD

That makes big plasma look scary, whilst smaller plasma is more just a phaser soak, or a finisher when no one has phasers left. As has been said this is a fleet game, and with better odds of IDF and evade the overall effect would probably not be to different to now.

Changing the Energy Bleed to quarter range brackets, so:

0-4 = 0
4-8 = -1
8-12 = -3
12-16 = -5

A fleet of 6 cruisers has about 36 phasers, obvioulsy fair variance by empire/ship, but about ~6 phaser per cruiser are likely in arc. Currently that means with IDF you might get 18 phasers on IDF, but very variable so anything from 6-30 is quite possible. The high variablity is bad for both sides, roll high and the plasma player is screwed and wonders how plama can be seen as good, roll low and the defender is dead due too bad luck.

A target score of 6 would make that about 30 IDF phasers, and its very unlikely you will get less than 24 and a very decent chance of all 36. A Gorn fleet of 6 cruisers would currently have 72 plasma AD, that would increase by 36AD at point blank range, by 12AD from range 4+, whlst being 12AD worse than now at range 8+. So plasma would increase by about the same as the number of IDF phasers at range 4-8, but be scary at closer ranges, and not as good beyond half range. Alternatively energy bleed of 0, -2, -4, -6 would leave plasma very scary up to 4" but weaker at all ranges beyond that to compensate for the close range killing power.

The lower variance on IDF/Evade means both sides can play in a way that feels more like their decisions have been the main factor in victory or defeat, and less about a few 50/50 rolls going right/wrong. No new rules have been introduced, 1 could be dropped, it would just be different numbers on the existing rules.
Last edited by storeylf on Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
billclo
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1362
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:43 pm
Location: Hanover PA

Re: why have the Kizinti been neutered?

Postby billclo » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:31 pm

Storyelf, excellent idea, and it's seriously worth looking at.

I never understood why the crew can't push the button on their console marked "area defense mode", or why the entire fleet can't automatically defend their fellows. Heck, our current Navy ships can do that.

Change the crew check numbers to 6 (roll 2+ on the die), and carry on. :) So simple.

I have thought that many of my games were decided more by which ship made it's IDF rolls than any other factor. I've never even used Evasive Action, because the limitations on it with poor odds of success.

***after thinking on it some more, it seems to me that one unintended consequence of making the CCQ for IDF/Evasive action easier is that it devalues the new Escort trait somewhat. I mean, if you have a standard warship with 5/6ths chance of making IDF, which gives you 18" range with your phasers against any seeking weapon in range, or a possibly (but not always) more expensive escort that has a 8" range automatically and which can still make that 5/6ths chance for longer range IDF, which one are you going to pick?

Either lower the cost of the escort if it's higher than the base hull (which some are, and some are cheaper than the base hull), or give the escort more abilities to offset the easier IDF. Perhaps the ability to fire a weapon, judge the result, and fire a second time if needed. Certainly this would help with the having to designate all weapons fire first in that currently you can basically fire ADDs OR phasers at incomings, not both. Well you can, but you waste ADD rolls on drones that the phasers just killed, which makes no sense to me. If you have the Escort ability, you can fire phasers first, see which ones died, and if needed use the ADD to mop up the rest without rolling unnecessary dice (which can run you out of ammunition sooner).

This is actually less generous than with SFB, in that Escorts could fire and judge the result 4 times...

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 33 guests