First post, First play, First impression

The Universal Game of Starship Combat
go0gleplex
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Postby go0gleplex » Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:28 pm

Part of the problem I see that you're going to run into with trying to resolve three rolls into one is that each roll is there to resolve a different aspect or function of the weapon. Or simpler, you're trying to mix apples, oranges, and strawberries.

Roll one, ACC...simply seeing what weapons hit.

Roll two, IMP...of the weapons that hit, which ones actually got through to do DMG.

Roll three, DMG...what effect did the weapon have on the target.

As Jimbeau pointed out...if you resolve these into a single roll for any one function, or as a whole somehow...you essentially flatten the bell curve of probability. At best, IMO only, from a modelling standpoint you might be able to consolidate IMP & DMG and maintain something of the probability curve, but it's gonna be a bit messy off the cuff and risks invalidating several of the weapon traits available.

Not saying that it's impossible...merely improbable to do so cleanly or without other adverse impacts to the relevant mechanics.

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Re: First post, First play, First impression

Postby mj12games » Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:48 pm

Parduz wrote:Sorry for the double post (and for the maybe dumb question), but how this table comes out?


Not a dumb question, but the language barrier may be confusing me.

Are you asking how the table is derived, or how to use it? I'll answer both questions. :)

The table is derived by combining the chance to hit and the chance of penetrating the shields. For example, to-hit 3+ yields a 67% probability, and shields 5 yields a 17% probability, for an overall 11% chance of causing damage. This is roughly 1 in 6, so on the table if you cross reference to-hit 3+ with shields 5, you get 6+.

The difficulty with this table is that you'll need to fudge it for the various weapon abilities that impact the to-hit and impact rolls. Further, it doesn't account for the fact that a 3/1 weapon will act differently than a 1/3.
Daniel Kast
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mj12games
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Postby mj12games » Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:49 pm

jimbeau wrote:Also, I liked banked weapons too, but I can almost hear the high-pitched scream coming from colorado :)


Not a scream, but a whimper...
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Postby OldnGrey » Wed Dec 03, 2008 5:31 pm

One thing you could try is to change the way that shields work to do away with the shields roll.
Have the shields stop their rating in hits per turn.
So that a ship with shields 3 ignores the first three hits per turn (in fighter phase , then any shields left undamaged are used in the same way for ship to ship) and all other hits being rolled for damage.

The shields being reduced as normal when damaged.

Of course a ship could come to a quick end if targeted by a load of weapons.

Paul

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Postby jimbeau » Wed Dec 03, 2008 8:43 pm

I don't think Dan has been secretive about any aspect of Starmada, at least since I've known him so divulging the underlying mechanics isn't too much of a worry. I think they're all plainly clear in the rules, personally.

RE: The banked thing. After the compendium, Dan has been most adamant about Banked weapons being the thing that broke Starmada. (Personally I would say it's the new movement system, but I lost that argument in a hail of arrow-fire... Does anyone else hear a whimper???)

Finally, you may be coming off of a history of old-school, chart-based gaming (nothing wrong with that) and thus some of Starmada may seem alien to you. My opinion of the MJ12 line is that it has always taken a brand-new look at how we game, and made it fun ('cause that's how it's supposed to be) so you don't need a ton of charts or rules to have a great game. I think if you just play a few more games, they will begin to move more fluidly. Come over to my house and we'll play and I can show you how I do it at the conventions. :)

Noel and I have played some gargantuan games (like 60 fighters on a side and 30+ capital ships) yes they took a while, but it wasn't the dice that slowed us down.

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Postby Ken_Burnside » Thu Dec 04, 2008 6:23 am

I think I may be the only person other than Parduz who's bitched to Dan about the dice herding in Starmada.

The problem isn't the sheer number of dice. It's the iterations.

You can't resolve one weapon with one throw of the dice. Then count the ones that beat your Accuracy number. Then multiply that number by the Impact rating of the weapon and roll that many dice, compare them to a number that's on the other side of the table, sort out which ones exceeded that number, multiply by the damage value, and roll that many dice a third time.

This can result in unwieldy amounts of dice for each throw, but they do consume a lot of time due to sheer repitition

One way to speed it up is to use three batches of dice of three colors and roll them all at once...but for a RoF 3, IMP 3, DAM 3 terror weapon, that results in rolling 3+9+27=39 dice at once...so that's a false economy.

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Postby Ken_Burnside » Thu Dec 04, 2008 6:26 am

Another variation on how to do it is to treat shields as a modifier to Accuracy.

For example: A shielding unit of 3 means that your Accuracy should be halved. Any weapon that hits with this reduced Accuracy just rolls for damage normally.

However, that really screw over high IMP weapons.

There isn't a good way to get the effect of the dice cascades without the dice cascades. :)

underling
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Postby underling » Thu Dec 04, 2008 2:19 pm

Or...
You all could play with smaller ships with fewer weapons.
But if you insist on playing with 20+ ships per side, each with 53 hull boxes and 20+ weapons with multiple dice capabilities, then you get what you get.

:wink:

A three roll resolution system works fine if you keep it under control and don't let the number of weapons get out of hand.
Kevin

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Postby MadSeason » Thu Dec 04, 2008 2:22 pm

Kevin has a point. I've never played Silent Death but I understood it to be primarily a small capital ship and fighters arena. If you played Starmada with small ships and fighters, I think it would be more manageable. And certainly a better way to play your first game -- maybe leading up to bigger ships and bigger fleets.

Kevin also has a great name.

- Kevin

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Postby mj12games » Thu Dec 04, 2008 6:27 pm

Ken_Burnside wrote:I think I may be the only person other than Parduz who's bitched to Dan about the dice herding in Starmada.

The problem isn't the sheer number of dice. It's the iterations.


Huh. I'd always thought your concern was with the number of dice, not the iterations.

The problem is that, if you don't like the three-roll system, there's not much that can be done about it. That is the heart of Starmada -- everything else is details that can (and have) been changed via optional rules.

But the "Roll to-hit", "Roll penetration", "Roll damage" system has been there from the beginning. If you like it, you'll love Starmada: if not, you won't.

This isn't to say I'm opposed to looking for solutions -- just that this is the one part of the game that is going to be highly resistant to change.
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