Mercenary Kickstarter boarding rules request for clarification

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adzling
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Mercenary Kickstarter boarding rules request for clarification

Postby adzling » Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:07 pm

After doing some work on devising a boarding skiff it was pointed out to me that there are new rules for denying the opportunity to dock/board in the new Mercenary kickstarter (thanks Being!).

After we both reviewed the new rules we are scratching our heads a bit as it's rather confusing and contradictory, see below from p 114 Specialist Forces pdf:

"Docking with an airlock normally requires an Average (8+) Pilot check. If the target is actively or inadvertently uncooperative, the docking can still be attempted unless the craft is tumbling. A negative DM equal to -3 per point of Thrust the target is using applies, with DM+1 for every point of Thrust the approaching vessel uses to match the attempted movement. If forced linkage apparatus is in use, its Pilot check DM is also applied. Linking airlocks does not cause either vessel to have control over the other’s lock unless a docking has been authorised by both craft. It will be necessary to force the airlock or cut through it in order to enter a resisting ship."

AND from page 115:

"To initiate an effective tumble, the pilot must make a Routine (6+) Pilot check. If the check is failed, the vessel may have some inconvenient rotation but docking or free boarding can still be attempted at DM-1. The severity of an induced tumble is rated by the negative DM applied to attempts to dock with the tumbling ship. This DM is equal to D3 for an accidental tumble caused by control loss and D3 plus the Effect of the Pilot check made to initiate a deliberate tumble. This DM is applied to any attempts to attach lines, or for personnel to get onto the hull, and conventional docking is impossible."

So in the first entry above it notes that " the docking can still be attempted unless the craft is tumbling" which means you can never attempt to dock, forced or otherwise, with a tumbling ship.

In the second entry above it notes that "The severity of an induced tumble is rated by the negative DM applied to attempts to dock with the tumbling ship..." which goes on to specify rules for getting lines/ personnel onto a tumbling ship then ends with the repeat that "conventional docking is impossible"

What happens when you're using a Forced Linkage Apparatus to get lines onto the target vessel then pull the two vessels together?

I would presume that because the use of a Forced Linkage Apparatus is not "conventional docking" AND that it specifically uses lines as noted in the entry above AND because the description of Forced Linkage Apparatus in HighGuard indicates this is their intended use (to force docking on uncompliant ships) THEREFORE a ship with FLA can attempt to dock with a ship that is tumbling, applying the negative DMs from the tumble to their attempt to attach the FLA to the target ship.

What do you think Matt/ Mercenary Kickstarter rules author personage/ Mongoose publishing rules lawyers?
Being
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Re: Mercenary Kickstarter boarding rules request for clarification

Postby Being » Wed Sep 15, 2021 12:22 pm

On reading this more thoroughly Im pretty sure you cannot dock with a Tumbling ship the text says its Impossible more than once . The lines bit is about Free Boarding. The text says
" it is entirely impossible to dock with a craft that is
rapidly tumbling
and indeed putting a vessel into a threeaxis
‘deadman’s tumble’ is a standard boarding-resistance
tactic. A craft that can manoeuvre, even under very low
power, is difficult to dock with."

That paragraph is pretty definitive read the section on Free Boarding about lines.

Also: "To initiate an effective tumble, the pilot must make
a Routine (6+) Pilot check. If the check is failed,
the vessel may have some inconvenient rotation but
docking or free boarding can still be attempted at
DM-1. The severity of an induced tumble is rated by
the negative DM applied to attempts to dock with
the tumbling ship. This DM is equal to D3 for an
accidental tumble caused by control loss and D3
plus the Effect of the Pilot check made to initiate
a deliberate tumble. This DM is applied to any
attempts to attach lines, or for personnel to get onto
the hull, and conventional docking is impossible."


Also in the section on Free Boarding: "Free boarding is the only
method possible if a target is tumbling."
and:
Docking with an airlock normally requires an
Average (8+) Pilot check. If the target is actively or
inadvertently uncooperative, the docking can still be
attempted unless the craft is tumbling. A negative
DM equal to -3 per point of Thrust the target is
using applies, with DM+1 for every point of Thrust
the approaching vessel uses to match the attempted
movement. If forced linkage apparatus is in use, its
Pilot check DM is also applied. Linking airlocks does
not cause either vessel to have control over the other’s
lock unless a docking has been authorised by both
craft. It will be necessary to force the airlock or cut
through it in order to enter a resisting ship.
If, once the craft are docked together, one of them
applies Thrust – or both do, in a mismatched manner,


If forced Linkage changed this it would say so in this paragraph. In fact in reinforces the "docking can be attempted UNLESS the craft is tumbling" Free Boarding is the ONLY method if the defending ship is Tumbling.
Only if the Pilot Tumble check is failed can Docking be attempted at DM-1 and there is nothing to stop the Pilot trying again. Also you have to apply a Bane Dice when attempting to Dock with an uncooperative ship. CRB page 32.
Entering the space of a uncooperative moving ship would be highly dangerous but to try and dock with a Tumbling ship especially if youre in a smaller ship would be crazy.
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adzling
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Re: Mercenary Kickstarter boarding rules request for clarification

Postby adzling » Wed Sep 15, 2021 3:17 pm

the key bit that contradicts the "no docking while tumbling" is highlighted in bold:

The severity of an induced tumble is rated by the negative DM applied to attempts to dock with the tumbling ship. This DM is equal to D3 for an accidental tumble caused by control loss and D3 plus the Effect of the Pilot check made to initiate a deliberate tumble. This DM is applied to any attempts to attach lines, or for personnel to get onto the hull, and conventional docking is impossible.

This is a direct contradiction to the "no docking while tumbling" text, explicitly notes only "conventional docking" is not permitted (FLA is not conventional docking) and gives exact mechanics for an attempted docking maneuver based upon the pilots success roll to put the ship into a tumble ("d3+ effect of pilot check as a negative to the docking attempt).

Specific trumps general so this clearly (*cough*) indicates that docking via non conventional means is possible and gives rules for it while at the same time noting that conventional docking is totally impossible.
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Re: Mercenary Kickstarter boarding rules request for clarification

Postby Condottiere » Wed Sep 15, 2021 3:26 pm

Grappling and docking aren't necessarily the same thing.

One tends to require cooperation.
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adzling
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Re: Mercenary Kickstarter boarding rules request for clarification

Postby adzling » Wed Sep 15, 2021 3:34 pm

Agreed, but as I noted the rules are contradictory in that they specifically note that docking is possible with a negative dm as indicated.
Being
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Re: Mercenary Kickstarter boarding rules request for clarification

Postby Being » Wed Sep 15, 2021 7:22 pm

No have to disagree Forced Linkage is still Docking the text says in several places once Tumbling it is Impossible to Dock. And under Free boarding it states "Free Boarding is the only
method possible if a target is tumbling."

Also under the Contact Phase "It is entirely impossible to dock with a craft that is
rapidly tumbling and indeed putting a vessel into a threeaxis
‘deadman’s tumble’ is a standard boarding-resistance
tactic."
This a as well " Docking with an airlock normally requires an
Average (8+) Pilot check. If the target is actively or
inadvertently uncooperative, the docking can still be
attempted unless the craft is tumbling. A negative
DM equal to -3 per point of Thrust the target is
using applies, with DM+1 for every point of Thrust
the approaching vessel uses to match the attempted
movement. If forced linkage apparatus is in use, its
Pilot check DM is also applied. Linking airlocks does
not cause either vessel to have control over the other’s
lock unless a docking has been authorised by both
craft. It will be necessary to force the airlock or cut
through it in order to enter a resisting ship.

Three examples stating Docking is not possible if the ship is tumbling. This last paragraph states "unless the craft is tumbling" and mentions FL below it but indicates Docking is only allowed if the ship is not Tumbling.

The paragraph you mention is badly worded and a general better editing of the whole section would be better but I think those modifiers are for Free Boarding. and it says that you can attempt to Dock if the Pilot Check fails at DM-1. Forced Linkage is still Docking and its bonuses are clearly given in the text, in fact unless you have the highest TL FL there is no bonus anyway. If you attempted to Force Link a Tumbling Ship with greater mass than yours imagine what the result would be.

Also in Deep Revelation The Crossing docking is not possible with tumbling ship.
Condottiere
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Re: Mercenary Kickstarter boarding rules request for clarification

Postby Condottiere » Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:31 pm

1. How much tumble can you strain a hull under, until inertial compensation gives out?

2. Or you short circuit artificial gravity with ion cannons?

3. Once the spacecraft is successfully grappled, it becomes contested in what vector the grappled spacecrafts continue with.

4. Attached like a limpet, the boarding party can cut into the hull.
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adzling
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Re: Mercenary Kickstarter boarding rules request for clarification

Postby adzling » Wed Sep 15, 2021 11:09 pm

Being, what about this phrase that explicity notes docking with a tumbling ship is possible, just subject to dms based upon the effect of the pilot roll when the target ship was put into a tumble:

"The severity of an induced tumble is rated by the negative DM applied to attempts to dock with the tumbling ship."

It goes onto detail: "This DM is equal to D3 for an accidental tumble caused by control loss and D3 plus the Effect of the Pilot check made to initiate a deliberate tumble. This DM is applied to any attempts to attach lines, or for personnel to get onto the hull, and conventional docking is impossible."

This is a clear cut mechanic that explicitly indicates docking is possible (although specifically not conventional docking) with negative DMs.

FLA not being conventional docking would seem to fit the bill.

It does contradict the text stating "cannot dock while tumbling".

This is either an error in the mechanics, an editing error or a case of "flavor text" not matching actual mechanics.
Being
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Re: Mercenary Kickstarter boarding rules request for clarification

Postby Being » Thu Sep 16, 2021 11:26 am

Its definitely an error (Like I said before the whole section could do with editing, other Mercenary pdfs have similar mechanical flaws.) I think the whole Boarding Section of the book is clear NO Docking, even with FL is allowed if the ship is in a full Tumble.

If you want to allow ships with FL to attempt to go for it. (The whole mechanics are stepped against success however especially with a BANE dice.)

Even the CRB after reprinting still has errors, if you look at the correction thread on here for 2300AD you will see many and the Mercenary Kickstarter chat has other examples, someone pointed out the whole Maintenance mechanics are flawed I found several in the Field Catalogue and gave up searching for others.

Ive posted a query on the KIckstarter page.
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adzling
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Re: Mercenary Kickstarter boarding rules request for clarification

Postby adzling » Thu Sep 16, 2021 2:43 pm

Being wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 11:26 am
Ive posted a query on the KIckstarter page.
thanks!

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