I think that they are about right, but that they happen way too often. I would prefer to see them limited in frequency with Precise weapons getting more as normal.
EDIT: I tend to have lucky dice. This means that I get lots of crits usually, but that my normal opponents don't want to play as much. Aside from this fact a standard weapon should not have a 1/6 chance of scoring significant critical damage.
I think they're about right as far as effects go. theres a good mix of really nasty ones and a few 'eh who cares' ones...of course It would be nice to introduce a critical system for the ancients to give us mere mortals a fighting chance, but we'll see.
I think they ought to be a little tougher to get on tougher ships though.
Previously I advocated a different crit system...you had to make a second roll based on the hull of the ship. So criticals on hull 6 ships would be harder to get on hull 4 ships (representing more advanced technology, more redundant systems, or simply a better design)
criticals can definitely change the turn of play and really effect ships capabilities however there also criticals which don't effect ships too badly either. I would say they turn up maybe just a little too much though - especially if you are using precise weapons - 1 in 3 chance of criticals - a little high in my opinion, but I enjoy the game too much and so am happy to continue as it is without grumbling to any degree
I think they're alright. People need to realise that things like spaceships are constructed in such a way that they don't really have any 'dead space'. Every cubic meter is assigned to something.
Once you start blasting holes in that kind of construction it's almost impossible not to hit anything critical. I'd say that 1 in 5 hits hitting armour (which is then slagged of/blown to bits) and non-critical parts/areas is very generous already.
Yes they are a source of more "luck" in the game but I also think that this is a good thing. You can't bank on a ship definitely being able to fire or move after being attacked so if it's important to get its action done (e.g. opening a jump point and you need to stop the only enemy ship that can fire on it even though it can't cause enough damage to reduce it to zero crew/damage) then you have even more reason to prioritise. It also forces you to adapt your tactics to new and changing situations rather than playing an entirely predictable game!
So what if you lose one game in ten due to "lucky criticals"...that's part of the fun not knowing when this will happen!
I agree, they are a good thing. I don't like that the severe crits are as common as the not-so-severe crits. Maybe put the crit table up to a 2d6 chart, to provide some sort of rarity for vital system crits and the really ugly crits on each chart.
I have found that most games come down to who is luckier with their crits. Not so much who gets more but who gets the better ones.
As Dennbok mention I have nearly given up on the game entirely due almost exclusively to criticals.
My problems with them are;
1 the likelihood. 1/6 (or 1/3)
2 the spread. (I.e the same chance of -1spd as No more weapons)
3. the difficulty to repair. Specifically having to repair in reverse order received.
4. the “all or nothing” of the results (I.e in raid level and above the damage results (including 65 and 66) and nothings while 16,26,36,46,61 all make a ship nearly useless)
I am currently working on my own crits table that uses a D10 (tens/category) and a D6 (units/result).
So basically it has 1-4 hull, 5-7 engines, 8-9 reactor, 10 critical systems. This should create a better spread with the nasty results happening less.