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Darth Nyrys

Early Alpha Fleet Rules Revision

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Developer introduction and notes

 

Spoiler

 

I don’t think anyone would be surprised to hear me say that this rework was a long time coming. Fleet rules are never an easy subject to tackle, with equally valid voices calling out for both more freedom and less overwhelming complexity. Each choice made with these rules is both a gain and a loss, but I hope that you will see the finished product as a net gain as we do, and not a failure. I had a couple of goals when I set out to start building this rule set, and I think that it’s best to share them so that people can understand the changes instead of just seeing them. 

 

First and foremost, I wanted to make fleet combat a more inclusive experience for our community. In the past, fleet battles were largely on the shoulders of two individuals, not just with the actual combat, but all of the research, planning, and bookkeeping that preceded it. This was an incredibly heavy burden on faction leaders, often amounting to an unpaid part time job. It also made faction leader roles intimidating to people that were not well versed in Star Wars tech and ships. Worst of all, the majority of the player base was prevented from participating in a meaningful way. The new rules address this by letting each participating player command an element of the fleet that they build both in terms of role and narrative.

 

Other times in the past fleet combat has been awkwardly chained to player character duels, with ships or even entire battlegroups blooping out of existence because one PC took a lightsaber to the everything. This made fleet command feel irrelevant, as the fate of the fleet was determined by duels, not fleet actions. To rectify this, along with arguments over how much damage a ship does or can take, we’ve established a very simple universal class system to definitively answer those questions. While this removes a lot of the technical granularity of ship selection, fleet combat will be much more accessible and cleaner to resolve, along with other benefits. 

 

Star Wars is a vast IP, not just in terms of its myriad cultures and factions, but also in the epic span of its timelines. With resources like Wookieepedia it's easy to find ships that we love the aesthetic of, only to find out that they're too old to be viable, or as is the case with a lot of the new Disney canon ships, too fueled by cocaine. We don't want players to feel limited to a very specific pool of meta options, or feel punished for taking something less meta out of love, so we've chosen to approach things with a more streamlined system based on the assumption that any ship that sees combat has been updated to the limits of current tech for its systems, and is as viable as any other in its role. While this means that we lose some of the granularity of finding that perfect ship configuration or loadout, it also means that we have a far more approachable system that lets commanders focus on tactics rather than spreadsheets. Players can now also field the ships that they want instead of the ships that they feel the meta requires.

 

With our prior fleet system, there was a very real potential for a decisive victory to snowball into an uncontestable win state, with opposing fleets too depleted to be able to mount any kind of meaningful counteroffensive. This had two unintended consequences, rampant arms races between factions and alliances to avoid vulnerability, and an underlying sense of extreme pressure to be as competitive and cutthroat in fleet battles as possible. Obviously none of this was healthy for the community, so we took out the mechanics that caused these issues and replaced them with a light versus dark fleet split instead of tying fleet numbers to factions (removing the advantage of spamming new factions) and chose a narrative that suggested that these were pieces of a much larger overall fleet so that battle losses were setbacks but not insurmountable ones.

 

Since players would have a greater hand in cultivating the look and feel of their task forces, I wanted to reinforce that attachment through progression. Making the survival of your forces a priority will yield real mechanical benefits, and encourages players to weigh the value of retreat over attrition tactics that result in massacres. Knowing when to run can stop a losing battle from turning into a crippling slaughter.

 

         

 

Alpha pitch for task forces

 

Each player participating in a fleet battle commands their own task force. If the numbers are uneven, then the admiral with fewer task forces can either choose to take a number of unranked task forces to create an equal conflict, or request a secret win objective from the mods if it makes narrative sense to do so. No engagement is ever considered to include any faction’s entire fleet, and players can enter subsequent battles even if their last task force suffered total destruction. Player commanders are responsible for their task force’s ship composition, names, traditions, and portrayal in the RP, not to mention their actions on the field. If a PC leading a task force is killed, the task force forfeits one round of ability use, and then returns to normal function the following round.

 

Task forces(TFs) gain levels from participating in fleet combat, Any PC led task force starts at blooded, needs two additional battles for veteran, and three further battles for elite (As in, it takes six battles in total to gain elite status). A task force that loses over half of its ships loses a level of veterancy, and a task force that is wiped out loses all veterancy unless it has a bonus to prevent that. Withdrawing is a full round action, but can prevent the loss of valuable experience and abilities.

 

Commanders are expected to maintain lines of communication and goodwill to the opposing players. All fleet abilities are announced at the beginning of the round (in secret) and resolved at the end of the round to represent simultaneous events rather than each post being slightly later in the timeline. Players that fail to meet the three day rule requirement are assumed to repeat their last action if possible. If it’s the first round, their commander is assumed to have choked. Since all actions are determined at the beginning, and resolved at the end, post order of combatants is irrelevant as long as they post in the round, and the three day countdown goes into effect at the start of the round.

 

Some task forces in this list mention that they are supported by smaller ships, such as the Interdiction Cadre. Leaders of these task forces can choose to reallocate removal abilities from their key ship to other ships in the task force to represent other ships tanking fire to keep their key piece on the field. Other task forces are escorts, and can attach themselves to other task forces to allow their ships to serve as support. Cruiser and capital escorts cannot intercept bomber attacks.

 

Removal abilities that overkill a target with damage have the excess distributed to another target in the task force, and if necessary however many more targets are required to account for all of the damage. If the task force is destroyed entirely, the remaining damage is lost.

 

Ship scaling: A Task Force is 6 points

One capital is 6 points.

One cruiser is 3 points.

One frigate is 1 point.

Three corvettes are 1 point. 

 

(Targeted removal charts will be located at the bottom of the doc for easier comparison and formatting)

 

Task Forces
 

Spoiler

 

Battleline Escort (Capital ship or cruisers): Tradition of excellence

Blooded: Complete destruction only reduces the TF by one tier of veterancy and heavy losses causes no reduction.

Veteran: The battle line can focus all power to shields and halve(rounding up) the power of any direct removal abilities for the round. While this ability is in play, abilities that would normally bypass shields from TFs like the Hellriders and Destroyers [Torpedoes] hit the shields instead.

Elite: If the fleet is in danger of total destruction, the task force can launch a suicidal assault to allow all other allied ships to flee the battle. Doing this wipes out the battle line TF.

 

Interdiction cadre (Interdictor ship(s) supported by frigates): Interdiction field

Blooded: Gravity wells severely hamper retreat, forcing the enemy to only withdraw half their fleet each turn. 

Veteran: Interdiction fields can be used to precision deploy fleet assets, but this damages their hyperdrives, preventing them from being able to withdraw for the rest of the battle.

Elite: As long as the interdictor is functional, its crew can largely prevent any ships from fleeing. Enemies can only withdraw one ship each turn.

 

Carrier Group (Capital or cruiser supported by frigates and corvettes): Fighter Command

Blooded: The TF controller can pick an additional starfighter action for the round.

Veteran: Bombers Inbound does an additional damage.

Elite: Enemy interceptors only halve the damage of bombers on protected targets, rather than nullifying it.

 

Electronic Warfare Pod (Dedicated EW and comm ships of all sizes with frigate and corvette support): Information Control

Blooded: The TF can jam  communications and sensors.

Veteran: The TF can jam missile guidance systems, making focus fire with missiles require line of sight when the task force and one ally task force selected at the beginning of the round.

Elite: Enemy actions are revealed at the beginning of the round, instead of the end when they are resolved.

 

Fleet Command (Capital ship, one per fleet): Flagship

Each level of veterancy allows the admiral to pick a new option from the following list.

Axial Weapon: The ship may perform Focus Fire as if it was a Destroyer Group(Turbolasers).

Target Saturation: The ship is flanked by a number of up armored and heavily shielded transports used to provide cover, halve focus fire and bombers inbound damage on it.

Precision Deployment: The ship house a small gravity well generator that can be used to precision deploy fleet assets, but this damages their hyperdrives, preventing them from being able to withdraw for the rest of the battle.

Ultra-Heavy Flak Cannons: The ship carries a network of remorselessly deadly flak weapons. Any turn that the cannons are activated, both sides lose one starfighter action.

Meditation Chamber: Force Users can use these specially designed rooms to increase the efficiency of their forces, either gaining an additional Starfighter action or Task Force ability use each round.

Citadel Overshield: Superior shield management prevents attacks that ignore shields from going straight to hull damage.


 

Defensive Escort (Frigates and Corvettes): Suppressing Fire

Blooded: An allied task force that is adjacent to the task force is treated as if being supported by interceptors (The defensive escort can select itself).

Veteran: The TF can cover an adjacent task force and itself in the same turn, and Hellriders lose their defense bonus from “Hit and Run” tactics when engaging covered assets.

Elite: Protected TFs are immune to torpedo focus fire attacks.

 

Destroyer Group[Turbolasers] (Cruisers or a capital ship): Focus Fire

Blooded: The TF can target an enemy ship within range and line of sight and subject it to a withering hail of turbolaser fire. Ships can only survive so long under such a brutal attack (see below).

Veteran: By delivering a steady stream of turbolaser fire to an enemy ship, the TF creates holes in its defenses, increasing the damage of other targeted removal abilities by two (This is added to the TF’s sum damage after modifiers are applied, so for example, a sister destroyer group[turbolasers] of cruisers using focus fire and the elite double damage perk would do eighteen damage.) 

Elite: The TF can put all power to weapons, doubling the damage it causes with focus fire, but also doubling the amount of damage it takes that turn from enemy removal attacks. 

 

Destroyer Group[Rail guns] (Cruisers or a capital ship): Focus Fire

Blooded: The TF can target an enemy ship within line of sight and subject it to a destructive barragel of rail gun fire. Ships can only survive so long under such a brutal attack (see below).

Veteran: The TF has been allocated specialized HE cluster rounds for targeting corvettes. When the TF uses Focus Fire on corvettes only in a round, they do double damage. Spillover damage to other non corvette ships is reduced to zero.

Elite: The TF can fire their rounds through unshielded enemy ships, hitting an adjacent enemy ship for half focus fire damage (rounding up). This can allow the task force to shoot through support vessels into the ship they are covering.

 

Destroyer Group[Torpedoes] (Cruisers or a capital ship): Focus Fire

Blooded: The TF can target an enemy ship within range and subject it to a devastating torpedo salvo. Ships can only survive so long under such a brutal attack (see below).

Veteran: Using sensor baffling materials and countermeasures, the ships can prowl unnoticed as long as it hasn’t openly engaged the enemy. The TF cannot be targeted by attacks or targeted enemy task force abilities until the first round that it engages. When firing in an undiscovered state, the TF ignores shields and goes directly to hull damage, and this damage cannot be reallocated to supporting ships.

Elite: The task force has been allocated cloaking technology, allowing it to return to an undiscovered state after engaging the enemy. While the cloaking field is activated, the task force is blind, both in terms of visual awareness and sensors, and cannot attack enemies while remaining cloaked, but it also cannot be attacked. Cloaking and uncloaking are declared at the beginning of the round, so a ship can’t fire and then immediately cloak to avoid any return fire.

 

Strike Force (Cruiser with frigate and/or corvette support): Surgical Strike

Blooded: A heavy ion cannon barrage disables one ship in line of sight and range for a turn(Capital ships require being targeted two turns in a row).

Veteran: The task force declares its target for the ion cannon barrage after actions are announced but before they resolve.

Elite: The TF has an experimental new type of hyperdrive that allows it to choose to ignore interdiction fields and make precise micro jumps, allowing for constant repositioning. The task force can ignore supporting and escort ships for its ion cannon attack, but only if the target is not the same one that was targeted last turn.

 

Hellriders (Corvettes): Hit and run tactics

Blooded: The corvettes can engage cruisers and capital ships to support either a focus fire or bombers inbound removal ability. The targeted task force can either choose to focus on the Hellriders, costing the Hellriders three corvettes but doubling the base value of focus fire and bombers inbound on the enemy task force, or they can ignore the corvettes and take three hull damage as the corvettes exploit vulnerabilities on the ship’s flanks and aft sections. 

Veteran: Hellrider formations tend to draw the most brash and aggressive captains, risk takers that owe success to high stakes gambles rather than experience and discipline. This task force has a reputation that makes recruiting these men and women easy, and does not suffer experience reductions from heavy losses. 

Elite: Gut churning space acrobatics allow the Hellriders to cap focus fire losses to three corvettes per ability use.

 

Med/Eng Support Cluster (Frigates): Guardian Angels

Blooded: As long as the task force doesn’t engage the enemy, it is considered a war crime to target them. At the end of battle, the Task Force leader picks one allied Task Force that suffered Heavy Losses, the veterancy loss is negated for it. 

Veteran: At the end of battle, the Task Force leader picks one allied Task Force that suffered Heavy Losses, the veterancy loss is negated for it. He or she also picks one allied task force that was destroyed, that Task Force is instead treated as having suffered Heavy Losses.

Elite: At the end of battle, the Task Force leader picks two allied Task Forces that suffered Heavy Losses, the veterancy loss is negated for them. He or she also picks one allied task force that was destroyed, that Task Force is instead treated as having suffered Heavy Losses.

 

 

Removal effects and ship health

 

Ship shields and hull by type

Corvette: 1(This is not to imply that corvettes don’t have shields, just that the scale of firepower we’re measuring makes them irrelevant.)

Frigate: 3/3

Cruiser: 9/9

Capital: 20/20

 

Damage per by ship type

Bomber Wing: 4

Cruiser: 4

Capital: 6

 

Starfighter Actions

Each side gets one starfighter action per round, with some task forces providing additional ones.

 

Bombers Inbound: The fleet’s bombers move to engage a frigate or larger ship, doing direct removal damage. When bombers target ships supported by corvettes their damage is reduced by one.

 

Interception: The commander issuing the order picks two task forces, they cannot cannot be targeted by bombers for this round.

 

Dogfighting: The fleet’s dogfighters focus on clearing a lane for their bombers or interceptors. One Bombers Inbound action does double damage next turn or one Interception action covers an additional task force.

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