Starship combat cheat sheet & Questions?

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SJE
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Starship combat cheat sheet & Questions?

Postby SJE » Sun Feb 22, 2015 11:05 am

First, is there a cheat sheet with all the options listed for Space Combat? I've seen references to a Yahoo group MGT-aids, but none of the links seem to work for it any more.

Secondly, reading through the rule book I've been struck by some questions-
A Commander can initially modify the ships Initiative by making a Tactics (Naval) when Initiative is first determined. Afterwards, they then can modify Initiative in Ships Action phases for the following turn by making a Leadership roll? Why the weird switch between skills to have a similar impact?

Can the commander do anything else to inspire the crew, co-ordinate aiming and gunning etc, or is the only commander action "Increase up initiative"?

Thirdly, other than repairing drives, why would you assign an Drive Engineer to the M or J drive? I cant see any action listed for them to take to increase performance or impact the battle? Is there some way of ekeing out more Thrust for a turn that they could do with an Engineering roll like Scottie? The only reason for a Jump Drive assignation is to maybe make the 'Divert Power' roll if you needed to make an emergency Jump, but I'm still scratching my head as to what benefit a Engineer assigned to the M-drive has? There is a reference on p.54 under the Engineer M-Drive skill that an Engineer can overpower a thruster plate to increase a ships agility (pre-sumably Thrust) but no mention of the rules governing this?

Finally for Damage Control, it says it requires a Mechanic roll to repair ship systems and hits. But Engineering also says it can be used to repair starships- do you let Damage Control people use either skill?
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Reynard
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Re: Starship combat cheat sheet & Questions?

Postby Reynard » Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:41 am

The skill and combat rules for ship combat are rule is a bit sketchy so our group has it that, at the beginning of the Maneuver Phase, the engineer rolls for Overcharge Task (Maneuver Drive pg 54)and the Effect Number is the number of extra Thrust points (not 'agility') available that Turn. I don't believe there is Agility and I remember that stat from an earlier Traveller edition(s).

The Damage Control roll is very general and, as it says on page 150, it's very temporary - spit and chewing gum. Once combat is over, you ship is limping. Remember to record all that damage for future full repair. Either you get to a starport or some proper facility, purchase or carry a supply of spare parts and hire a service or have the crew engineers start using those five Engineering sub skills to get the ship ready for next time.

Having an engineer at the Jump, Power Plant and Maneuver drive could negate a DM or Time penalty from jumping from one system to another if the Referee imposes such things. We have the Chief Engineer on the bridge to Aid the Assistant Engineer on Damage Control or to get to a system when more than one must be repaired. Traikhetouh is Scotty.
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Re: Starship combat cheat sheet & Questions?

Postby Fovean » Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:21 am

SJE wrote:Finally for Damage Control, it says it requires a Mechanic roll to repair ship systems and hits. But Engineering also says it can be used to repair starships- do you let Damage Control people use either skill?
We try to specialize it a bit - hull damage = Mechanic check, drive damage = Eng (drive) check, Computer = Computer or Electronics check, etc. But we let the Chief Engineer do a task chain with another crew member if they don't have the relevant skill. In a recent game the PCs sent the steward (who also had Mechanic-1) to fix a hull breach but the Chief Engineer (who has good drive and life support skills but no Mechanic) was able to role-play guiding her thru life support issues and malfunctions if she didn't get the patch right. I allowed a task chain and together they were able to make the repair (she would have failed the task without the Engineer's Effect). YMMV but it was pretty awesome and the crew is tighter for it.
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Re: Starship combat cheat sheet & Questions?

Postby locarno24 » Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:43 pm

SJE wrote:First, is there a cheat sheet with all the options listed for Space Combat? I've seen references to a Yahoo group MGT-aids, but none of the links seem to work for it any more.

Secondly, reading through the rule book I've been struck by some questions-
A Commander can initially modify the ships Initiative by making a Tactics (Naval) when Initiative is first determined. Afterwards, they then can modify Initiative in Ships Action phases for the following turn by making a Leadership roll? Why the weird switch between skills to have a similar impact

Can the commander do anything else to inspire the crew, co-ordinate aiming and gunning etc, or is the only commander action "Increase up initiative"? ?
It's the same in ground combat. Leadership is about inspiring the crew to perform better - Tactics is about setting up an unfair fight to begin with. I'll be honest, I'd let you use both most of the time.
But a commander doesn't just have to be in the big chair, yelling orders. You can command from the helm or the gun turret, if you want - there's just a limit to how much you can do at once.
Thirdly, other than repairing drives, why would you assign an Drive Engineer to the M or J drive? I cant see any action listed for them to take to increase performance or impact the battle? Is there some way of ekeing out more Thrust for a turn that they could do with an Engineering roll like Scottie? The only reason for a Jump Drive assignation is to maybe make the 'Divert Power' roll if you needed to make an emergency Jump, but I'm still scratching my head as to what benefit a Engineer assigned to the M-drive has? There is a reference on p.54 under the Engineer M-Drive skill that an Engineer can overpower a thruster plate to increase a ships agility (pre-sumably Thrust) but no mention of the rules governing this?
Harks back to the original playtest where a P-Plant produced X points of 'power' per turn, which you could feed through the M-Drive (for thrust) or guns (to shoot). That system included rules for overcooking the fusion plant at the small downside of potentially blowing the ship to fragments. When they changed to the simpler space combat rules, sadly no equivalent was put in.
Finally for Damage Control, it says it requires a Mechanic roll to repair ship systems and hits. But Engineering also says it can be used to repair starships- do you let Damage Control people use either skill?
Engineering is repairing and maintaining a starship. Damage control isn't 'repair' per se; it's "get that bloody thing working again or we're dead!" - note that the rules say such bodge jobs fail again as soon as the battle is over. At which point, the mechanic steps out of the way and lets the engineer actually repair it.
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: Starship combat cheat sheet & Questions?

Postby GamingGlen » Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:50 pm

Oddly enough, I started working on such a cheat sheet, ended up with 2 (so far), and here's the first draft of one of them:

http://i856.photobucket.com/albums/ab12 ... f4lvbe.png


I made these after I sat down to go through a sample combat and after flipping through the pages several times, missing or forgetting things, I decided I needed some way to track things. I've only gotten through about 2 rounds of combat, between a standard corsair and a cutter.

The other sheet has range bands. A few house rules I'm thinking of using are listed, such as adding the computer model # to the number of reactions. This gives some benefit to having a better computer, besides being able to run more software. Think of it as a free Prediction program. :) Reasoning: if firing a Sandcaster in defense is a reaction, then it seems strange to put on more than about 4 as you won't ever get to use them (until some are damaged anyway).

I allow Short-range weapons to fire at Long range (they could in previous editions), but with a -4 penalty and changing the Medium range penalty to -2.

I added an option for ship missiles to have an armor piercing trait (4: ignore 4 points of armor), costing Cr 6000 more for a group of 12 (Cr 500 each). I've only been referencing the core book and HG, so if there's such an option already in the rules I'd like to know about it.

I made up the chart for initial range.
Each range band has a range of numbers. I plan on using actual vector/velocities instead of the Thrust-to-change-range system (I don't like it) so that's what those numbers represent. Example: Current range is 20 (Long), if Ship A is closing at velocity 4 and the Ship B is closing at velocity 8 then the new range will be 20-12=8 (Medium). If they don't change their velocities, they will pass each other and the new range being 8-12=4 (Short) and both are now distancing from each other. So they'll have to slow down if they want to continue the fight. After two rounds of missile velocity tracking, I will stay with the Time-to-impact (flight time) for missiles.

I also limit smart missiles to 3 tries, they don't have unlimited fuel. Also, 60 minute fuel duration seems a bit extreme (long-range missiles have this).

One additional sheet I'm considering, although trying to keep the amount of paper to a minimum, is a combat turn tracking sheet (like Star Fleet Battles energy allocation form). It's probably what I'll do, but I'll wait for the critic.. suggestions for changes of what I have now.

Yeah, I've played many starship miniature games. Now to figure out how to work movement into a hex-based system.
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Re: Starship combat cheat sheet & Questions?

Postby GamingGlen » Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:56 pm

Oops, noticed I had changed the symbol for destroyed system but forgot to change it on each weapon mount (from a + to an X inside the box). I'll get right on that.

Here's the other sheet:

http://i856.photobucket.com/albums/ab12 ... tcrod3.png
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ShawnDriscoll
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Re: Starship combat cheat sheet & Questions?

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:29 pm

If you're role-playing, you don't need a cheat sheet for any of this.
Balfuset790
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Re: Starship combat cheat sheet & Questions?

Postby Balfuset790 » Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:00 am

ShawnDriscoll wrote:If you're role-playing, you don't need a cheat sheet for any of this.
Care to explain your reasoning? Roleplaying does not, at least not in my opinion, preclude combat. Do you instead run all combats in a narrative fashion? While I can see that providing a better flow and permit for narrative description more easily however that is not the intent behind the Traveller system, so for people who want to use RAW a cheat sheet like this is helpful.

You must have very mature players for a narrative heavy combat system not to cause arguments.
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Re: Starship combat cheat sheet & Questions?

Postby Jeff3277 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:05 pm

GamingGlen wrote:Oops, noticed I had changed the symbol for destroyed system but forgot to change it on each weapon mount (from a + to an X inside the box). I'll get right on that.

Here's the other sheet:

http://i856.photobucket.com/albums/ab12 ... tcrod3.png
This looks great. Thanks for the chart.

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