ACTA: SF - Yet another fighter thread ;)

Da Boss

So thios is the rules adaption I wrote for my Alt universe supplement but may of use for Hydrans - its a mixture of my own ideas, Ben 2's and standard ACTA

Rules Additions 1. Fighters

Using Fighters
Fighters are represented as single bases in A Call to Arms, using either a single counter or base (if you are using miniatures). A fighter is treated as a ship for all purposes, unless otherwise mentioned below. All ranges for Fighters are measured from the edge of their base or counter, rather than the centre.

Unless otherwise stated by the scenario, all ships carrying flights of fighters may deploy one flight before the game begins. This flight may be placed anywhere in your deployment zone. Flights purchased separately from ships are deployed normally.

Movement Phase
A fleet with fighters moves all its ships in initiative order as normal. Once all the ships of all the fleets involved in the battle have been moved, the player who won the initiative must then choose whether to move his fighters first or force his opponent to do so. Once this decision has been made, then all the flights of fighters in a fleet are moved at the same time. Then the opposing fleet does the same with their fighters. This is done to reflect the relative freedom of movement small craft have in battles involving huge warships and also keeps things quick and easy in battles featuring many flights of fighters.

Attack Phase
Though the bigger guns mounted on warships are designed to hit other large vessels and not small fighters, there is always a chance that a flight can be hit and destroyed by these huge discharges of energy. A fighter may be attacked in the same way as a ship. Any successful hit will cause one point of damage, but the flight may use any Dodge trait it possesses as normal.

Fighter Attacks
Fighters make their attacks in the Attack Phase, before any other ships may fire. The player who won the initiative for the turn attacks with all of his flights first, followed by his opponent. Simply nominate targets for each flight and then resolve their attacks, just as if you were nominating targets for a ship’s weapon systems against different targets – in effect, all of your fighters act as a single ship in the Attack Phase, with each flight being one weapon system.

Fighters attack as normal, though you will usually find their weapons have a very limited range. You may fire on other fighters, treating their attacks as if they were ships, as described above. However, you will find fighters are far more effective at destroying one another in dogfights. Any number of fighters may attack a single ship in any one Attack Phase, and you are free to place them on top of a ship’s counter or base, though you may not stack flights upon each other.

There is only one sure way to effectively clear the skies – send your own fighters to destroy the enemy’s, so you are free to attack heavier warships without interference. Once you move into base contact with an enemy fighter, you are considered to be dogfighting and so follow these rules. Fighters may only conduct dogfights against other flights, not ships. A dogfight starts automatically once two or more fighters are in contact with one another and no fighter involved may move until the enemy has been destroyed – you will soon find it is very important to retain the initiative when fielding large numbers of fighters!

Every fighter has a Dogfight score,, this is a reflection of a fighter’s potential to move into position and destroy its enemy. You resolve all dogfights your fighters are involved in when you nominate your fighters to attack in the Attack Phase. When two opposing flights are engaged in a dogfight, both players roll one dice and add the Dogfight scores of their flight.

Add +1 to your dice roll for every extra fighter you have in base contact with the enemy fighter you are dogfighting. A Fighter may support any number of dogfights in this manner but a fighter supporting a dogfight may never initiate a dogfight itself. Other than this, it is up to you how you arrange your dogfights for the best advantage! You may occasionally come across a situation where several fighters have all jumped into a mass brawl where every fighter is touching another. In cases such as this, working out who is dogfighting who can be confusing! There is an easy way to resolve fights like this. Simply remember the following.

• The player who nominated his fighters to attack chooses which of the enemy fighters will be attacked by each of his own fighters, and which of his remaining fighters will be supporting.
• If the defending player has any fighters not directly engaged, only then may they support.
• No fighter may both dogfight and support!
• Each separate dogfight will destroy just one enemy fighter, no matter how many fighters are supporting on each side.

Launching and Recovering Fighters
A few ships are able to carry a one or two of fighters. Other ships act as full-blown carriers and may have many fighters on board. Fighters act as point defence for larger vessels and are able to deliver precision attacks that, while light, can still cause a large amount of damage to an enemy.

A ship that has not performed a Special Action may launch one fighter. At the end of the End Phase, place the fighter anywhere within 3” of the ship. In the next turn, the fighter is free to act. Recovering a fighter also requires a ship to not use any Special Actions, and for fighters to be moved into contact with it. A ship may recover any friendly fighters, even those belonging to other ships. However, it may only do so if it has less fighters already on board than are listed in its Craft score on its roster.

Unless otherwise stated by a scenario or special rule, a ship carrying fighters may deploy just one of those fighters at the start of a battle, representing a routine combat space patrol as the ship searches for the enemy.

Supporting Ships and Flights
Most fighters are used to launch fast strikes at enemy ships or provide a long-ranged screen to stop such attacks. However, fighters are also adept at providing close escort for ships and other fighters, protecting them from any sudden attack.

Up to four fighters may be moved onto the base or counter of a friendly ship, and one may be moved in contact with another fighter. When this happens, the flights are automatically considered to be supporting the ship or fighter and will be moved whenever the ship or fighter is moved (though they will be forced to leave its base if the ship or fighter travels further than their Speed). Fighters may also be placed on the base of a ship before the battle starts.

Whenever an enemy fighter attempts to attack the supported ship or fighter, one or more supporting fighters may be immediately moved in base contact with it, starting a dogfight. Whatever the result of the dogfight, the attacking fighter may not go on to attack the ship or flight, even if it destroys all supporting fighters. All defending fighters that survive the dogfight may be returned to the base of the ship in the End Phase (even if they are locked in the dogfight).

If a supporting fighter is not involved in a dogfight, it may attempt to shoot down incoming attacks aimed at the ship it is protecting using the normal defensive fire rules. However, if any dice roll a 1, then a fighter takes a point of damage that may not be dodged as the weapon impacts with it instead of the target. A fighter using defensive fire must do so for a whole turn – you may not choose to withdraw it in the middle of the turn.

New Weapon Traits
Fighter -Killer
A weapon with this trait does not suffer the -1 penalty to hit for firing a fighters and a fighter may not dodge hits made by this weapon.

some sample fighters:

Mǎfēng (Hornet) Assault Fighter (A10)
An evolution of the fighter project, the hornet was designed to close on enemy ship and unload a miniature photon at close range. Well over twice the size of a normal shuttle and with a two man crew.

Speed: 8, Turn: SM, Dogfight: 0, Damage: 2, Traits: Dodge 6+, Fighter
ISD: 176+
Phaser-3F 2" T 1 Precise
Photon-F 6" T 1 Devestating+1, Multihit 2,

Qīngtíng (Dragonfly) Fighter (F4)
The first production fighter completed by the Empire, the Dragonfly was not much more than a armed shuttle with additional engine power.
Speed: 8, Turn: SM, Dogfight: 0, Damage: 1, Traits: Dodge 6+, Fighter
ISD: 172+
Phaser-3F 2" T 1 Precise

Huángfēng (Wasp) Fighter-Bomber (F-5)
Even as the first production models of the Dragonfly were completed, the Wasp was already being designed, although it would undergo several modifications and redesigns as reports came back from the front line. larger and sleeker, the Wasp was a huge step forward and able to deal with almost any enemy fighter on an even basis.
Speed: 12, Turn: SM, Dogfight: +2, Damage: 2, Traits: Dodge 5+, Fighter
ISD: 174+
Phaser-3F 2" T 3 Precise

Fēngniǎo (Hummingbird) Interceptor (F-6)
The pinnacle of Empire fighter design, the Humingbird is designed exclusively to engage enemy fighters
Speed: 12, Turn: SM, Dogfight: +3, Damage: 1, Traits: Dodge 5+, Fighter
ISD: 177+
Phaser-GF 2" T 4 Accurate +1, Fighter Killer, Weak,

Z'keth Assault Fighter (ZA)
A direct copy of a Kzinti assault fighter, the Z'keth was designed to survive long enough to be able to punish enemy ships with its armament
Speed: 6, Turn: SM, Dogfight: 0, Damage: 3, Traits: Dodge 6+, Fighter
ISD: 158+
Phaser-2F 3" 1 Accurate+1, Precise
Drone 6" 1 Seeking, Multihit 2, (*)

Zaresh Superiority Fighter (Z1)
The primary production fighter of the Klingon empire, the Zaresh was developed in conjunction with the Kzinti and proved immediately popular with Klingon warriors.
Speed: 10, Turn: SM, Dogfight: +1, Damage: 1, Traits: Dodge 5+, Fighter
ISD: 169+
Phaser-3F 2" 1 Precise
Drone 6" 1 Seeking, Devastating +1, (*)

Zul Space Superiority Fighter (Z2)
Continuing co-operation between the Kzinti and Klingons meant the Zul was a powerful design, capable of engaging ships and enemy fighters alike.
Speed: 12, Turn: SM, Dogfight: +2, Damage: 2, Traits: Dodge 6+, Fighter
ISD: 179+
Phaser-3F 2" 2 Precise
Drone 6" 1 Seeking, Devastating +1, (*)

(*) At the start of the game you may swap this weapon for dogfight drones adding +2 to the dogfight rating
One thing - Hydran ships are fitted with launch tubes, usually one per fighter. They are specifically designed to launch all their fighters simultaneously (although recovery takes longer).
Launch tubes could be handled by swiping the Carrier X Trait from A Call to Arms: Noble Armada and abstracting it in there.

To give one example, the stats for the Kurgan Arigaba-class carrier (as published in Fleets of the Fading Suns) show a Craft score of 16, and the Carrier 4 Trait. This means that while the ship has a standard complement of 16 fighters, it can only launch four of them in a single turn.

In the Hydran example (or that of any carrier with launch tubes; not all of which have enough to handle their entire squadrons at once), there could be a similar divide between the amount of Stingers (or other fighters) the ship can carry, and the amount it can get on the board all at once.

The total value of the Trait would be the amount of launch tubes the ship has. (You might need a rule stating that only fighters benefit from the Carrier X Trait, to stop people trying to launch waves of suicide shuttles out of tubes not intended to handle them.)


Let's see. Imagine one is porting over a sample ship which has two separate shuttle bays in its non-carrier base hull (which allows it to get the Quick Launch Trait in ACtA:SF) and four launch tubes on its SSD (which, in this case, would turn into Carrier 4 if only counting the tubes).

So, if the Carrier X Trait is writen to add the X value on top of the ship's default one-launch-per-turn ability, the carrier could then launch a single shuttle or fighter, four more fighters (out of the launch tubes) thanks to Carrier 4, and a second shuttle (and/or fighter, depending on how you want to cut it) courtesy of Quick Launch. However, if we get things so that the Carrier X Trait will only work for fighters (not shuttles), the carrier can still only place a maximum of two shuttles on the board in a single turn.

How is that?
The launch tube thing is notable for the Hydrans, but there are many other empires that operate them. (The presence, or absence, of launch tubes can be a useful way of showing the difference in relative effectiveness from one kind of carrier to another, particularly in scenarios which don't allow for the carrier to have had its squadron deployed beforehand.)
Do people want the level of detail where the number of launch tubes are tracked?

So say a ship has the Carrier trait with Launch tubes 4, meaning it can launch 4 fighters a turn?
The only real time you'd need to check how many launch tubes the ship has is when converting it into ACtA:SF stats.

(In ACtA:NA, if you lose the Carrier X Trait due to a random trait critical, it takes it all out at once regardless of the actual number listed; so the same could be true here.)

The main reason why I wanted to keep the Carrier X and Quick Launch Traits separate was to highlight the distinction between fighters and shuttles, which isn't a factor in ACtA:NA (where they are all treated as the same type of Craft).


To stick with a Hydran example, take the Baron light command cruiser from Module R3. That ship has two discrete shuttle bays (which would enable Quick Launch), as well as four launch tubes (two per bay), enabling the Carrier 4 Trait (under my proposal).

So, with a total of eight Craft (six Stingers and two shuttles), a Baron in a scenario where it can't have its craft set up on the board beforehand has a few options:

A - use Carrier 4 to get four of its six Stingers on the table, and Quick Launch to get the last two Stingers out,

or B - use Carrier 4 as above, but use Quick Launch to get one Stinger and one shuttle out (splitting the Quick Launch feature),

or C - use Carrier 4 as above, and use Quick Launch to get both shuttles out.

If the ship takes a trait critical that takes the Carrier 4 Trait offline, the ship would still be able to use Quick Launch to get 2 Stingers and/or shuttles out.

However, if the Quick Launch Trait gets taken out, the ship can only get a maximum of one shuttle on the table at once, since Carrier 4 would not cover shuttles.

Does that work?


EDIT: I was looking at some of the other SSDs in R3, and you can see the difference which Quick Launch and a Carrier X Trait would have with some of the Klingon carriers.

For example, the D7V strike carrier has two discrete bays in its deckhouse (but with no launch tubes), each of which carrying two shuttles and six fighters. So, the ship would translate as having 4 shuttles, 12 fighters, and Quick Launch, but no Carrier X Trait.

On the other hand, the smaller D5V carrier has a single large shuttle bay (with two launch tubes) for its two shuttles and 12 fighters; so it would get the Carrier 2 Trait, but not Quick Launch.

Both would be about as effective at getting fighters out, but the D5V would take longer with its shuttle complement.
Nerroth is entirely correct regarding SFB.

In Federation Commander, however, this is simplified to allowing Hydran ships (which rely on their fighters to a far greater extent than other Alpha-Octant fleets) to simply launch all their fighters at once.

The Captain's Log 37 draft fighter rules allow Fed, Kingon and Kzinti carriers to launch four fighters per impulse. That means they can launch their 12-craft squadrons in rather less than half of one game turn.

Then there's the delights of stacked launch bays (Klingon D7V and B10V), tunnel decks (Kzinti CVA, Fed CVS and CVB) and balcony-and-track systems (Fed CVA, more or less the entire Gorn fleet).

I know that getting all your fighters away was a 'challenging' aspect of ACtA:B5, and many of my Starfuries certainly died without ever leaving their Omegas and Novas. But given the smaller numbers of fighters in the SFU, should that be an issue in ACtA:SF?
As I noted in the other thread, the game system where I was basing my take on the Carrier X Trait from (A Call to Arms: Noble Armada), has one fighter per stand.

(To clarify, when I say the Kurgan Arigaba I mentioned above has a Craft score of 16, it means that there are 16 individual fighters onboard, not 16 flights of fighters; so its Carrier 4 Trait is allowing it to launch only four fighter craft per turn.)

There are many ways in which this particular issue could be tackled for ACtA:SF, but the version I tried to work up was intended to add a little more flavour to the carriers involved (by showing how quickly, or not, they can deploy their craft when the luxury of preparation time is missing), and to do so based on the pre-existing examples over in ACtA:NA.

Not to say that I'm onto something which any of that, mind you.
In ACTA: B5 One of the major differences between dedicated "Fleet" Carriers and ships that meerely carried fighters was that a Fleet Carrier could begin the game with half of its complement on the table. Ships like the Primus, Nova and Omega had to spend more time launching which restricted Special Actions.

I seldom had trouble having getting all the fighetrs out from my Balvarin or Avenger.