Yet another B5 Thread

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MRCAcct
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Re: Yet another B5 Thread

Postby MRCAcct » Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:21 pm

mj12games wrote:Why directly opposite?


I was sticking with the Armor (as opposed to Shields) concept (with a touch of Car Wars I guess). Basically if you treat Shields like physical Armor, then as you blast someone from one side, it's going to come out the opposite side; ergo if you're attacking someone from the port side, you're going to end up blasting out the starboard side, and effectively destroying that armor before you'd start really damaging the fore/aft armor belts.

I'm also trying to remember that damage in Starmada is resolved simultaneously, played far too many games were damage is resolved (more) instantaneously.

TeknoMerk wrote:Thank you for starting the B5 thread for Unity. ... Therefore I created the Penetrating weapon trait (Pn1, Pn2) that has the same effects of Piercing, but does the extra damage to Screens/Armor.


Well, someone had to, so why not me. :)

As for Penetrating, I was thinking something more along the lines of an effect that bypasses Screens. ie: in B5 Wars "Matter" weapons (Railguns) ignore armor completely, while "Plasma" weapons reduce the effectiveness of armor. Ideas for traits I could see (B5 setting specific) would be AD (armor defeating) which allows a weapon to ignore Screens (ala Modulating, and potentially devastating on weapons with IMP >1) and AP (armor penetrating) which would, say, do one DMG point to Screens and the rest bypasses (obviously only effective on weapons with a DMG >1).

How would you handle Pulse weapons? I've toyed with several ways (from cheapest to most expensive): Rpt Trait, the new Multi-Weapon mount (which in effect replicates the old Increased Hits Trait to a certain extent), IMP 3, and ROF 3.

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Re: Yet another B5 Thread

Postby TeknoMerk » Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:09 am

MRCAcct wrote:
TeknoMerk wrote:... Therefore I created the Penetrating weapon trait (Pn1, Pn2) that has the same effects of Piercing, but does the extra damage to Screens/Armor.


As for Penetrating, I was thinking something more along the lines of an effect that bypasses Screens. ie: in B5 Wars "Matter" weapons (Railguns) ignore armor completely, while "Plasma" weapons reduce the effectiveness of armor. Ideas for traits I could see (B5 setting specific) would be AD (armor defeating) which allows a weapon to ignore Screens (ala Modulating, and potentially devastating on weapons with IMP >1) and AP (armor penetrating) which would, say, do one DMG point to Screens and the rest bypasses (obviously only effective on weapons with a DMG >1).

How would you handle Pulse weapons? I've toyed with several ways (from cheapest to most expensive): Rpt Trait, the new Multi-Weapon mount (which in effect replicates the old Increased Hits Trait to a certain extent), IMP 3, and ROF 3.


We are thinking along the same lines, but I guess my description was too narrow and incomplete. I was thinking that the Penetrating weapon ability would be assigned to the B5 plasma weapons, having a higher chance to cause damage. I have not fleshed out the Ignore Screens/Armor ability, but I was thinking it would cost the same as Modulating.

For Pulse weapons, I just had a plain 'ole (particle) weapon with a higher rate of fire. Another take is the Repeating ability. For example,

Light Pulse Cannon: 3", ROF3, I1, D1, Pinpoint (anti-fighter!)
Pulse Cannon: 6", ROF3, I1, D1
Heavy Pulse Cannon: 12", ROF3, I1, D2
Mega Pulse Cannon: 18", ROF3, I1, D2

Light Pulse Cannon: 3", ROF1, I1, D1, Pinpoint, Repeating (anti-fighter!)
Pulse Cannon: 6", ROF1, I1, D1, Repeating
Heavy Pulse Cannon: 12", ROF1, I1, D2, Repeating
Mega Pulse Cannon: 18", ROF2, I1, D2, Repeating

These are not tested too much, but it's at least a starting point.
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Re: Yet another B5 Thread

Postby TeknoMerk » Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:05 pm

If you all do not mind me thinking out loud about B5 weapon designs, then let me suggest these ideas for converting B5Wars weapons to Starmada Unity. Just to understand my design goals, I own and playtested the 1st and 2nd edition material for B5Wars, and extensively played the game before moving to Starmada X and descendants years ago. When it comes to converting settings into a known game system, my philosophy is that of a minimalist or maybe a "constitutionalist". All this means is that I try to use the written rules as much as possible before I create my own additions. That just keeps things simpler without piles of extra rules to remember, maintaining the game playability.

With that in mind, the key to designing Babylon 5 ships is getting the weapon and defensive systems correct. Then most everything else falls into place. While B5Wars has many types of distinct weapons, there are much fewer weapon classes. That is where I will start. Here are some draft ideas for B5Wars weapon classes for Unity. Note that these do not yet have much playtest time (although they are similar to what I've done for Nova and Admiralty), but I plan to do so over the coming weeks.

Plasma
Goal: Extra armor/screen and hull damage
Traits: Catastrophic
I noted in the Screens section of the rules that this trait causes +1 Screen damage.

Matter
Goal: Ignores armor/screens
Traits: Penetrating (Pen) 2.5
This is a newly created weapon trait that is just like Modulating, but only affects armor/screens.
Daniel may want to comment on the cost, if it seems wrong.

Pulse
Goal: High rate of fire weapon to saturate target with many low-damage particle pulses
Traits: ROF > 1, Repeating and/or Scatter

Laser
Goal: Has penetrating beam and "sweeping" capabilities
Traits: Piercing, IMP>1 in large or advanced lasers

Molecular
Goal: Ignore shields
Traits: Modulating

Rail
Goal: Kinetic projectiles
Traits: Kinetic, Telescopic in large or advanced rail weapons
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Notes on my B5 Thread

Postby MRCAcct » Thu May 04, 2017 5:24 am

So I've been tinkering a bit with my B5 stuff in between crisises . My goal is to use what I feel is "good" source material (Babylon 5 Wars) as the basis for ship designs et al and convert them down into Starmada. In the past it wasn't as big as an issue, but the whole Shields and Screens/Armor have added an interesting twist to things. (Basically just Shields is now way too boring!) The issue is that B5W weapons really fall into 2 broad categories of damage (Starmada wise) - all IMP or all DMG. Then different types of weapons tend to treat armor differently (some penetrate armor better than others).

I tried simplifying things by not having Shields (and adding extra Screens), but that really makes all weapons relatively equal (no fun) and kills some of the "flavour". So I'm trying to work on a mix of Shields (Directional) and Screens (may or may not be directional at this point). Formulas to be finalized soon I hope.

Speed is the second thing I'm trying to work out. Most capital ships (currently) become speed 2 or 3 and really are lumbering hulks; thinking I might either alter my formula slightly to bump the speed up a point, or do a more 'fixed' speed approach ala Star Fleet Starmada.

Class is another touchy issue. There's basically 4 types of ships; Capital, Heavy Combat Vessel, Medium Combat Vessel, Light Combat Vessel. This factors into my defenses category above mostly.

And defenses too: B5W has some interesting defenses that don't translate into Starmada very easily. For the most part I think I can manage this by using Countermeasures (and AFB when necessary) as a catch all.

There's also some weapons that are causing the occasional small problem. Some are Fighter or Starship exclusive (trait currently doesn't exist, but if Dan reintroduces/costs them it shouldn't be too hard to fit them in). Some are more for an "area defense" (can assist other ships). And some have mechanics that are just hard to figure out (Abbai Comms jammers would be fine if the effects WEREN'T temporary; the Ipsha have banks of weapons that can be fired individually or combined for better range - 5 'settings', the difference running from 5x Range 3 1x5+/1/1 to 1x Range 24 1x3+/4/1 Slw Slw; the rub being that a ship might have 20 weapons and fire them all individually or combine 2-5 of them - "I'll fire 1 group of 5, 3 groups of 3, 1 group of 4, and 2 singles" isn't feasible in Starmada). Missiles are up in the air (could be direct fire, could arguably be seekers). And anti-matter weapons make my head hurt.

Fighters play a decent role in B5 as well. For the most part I'm going to embrace all fighters being relatively equal, and having specific types for certain ships/races/etc as required (or optional). Some races operate a "Super Heavy Fighter" which I'm going to look at, probably make it a Hull 1 ship?

So that leaves one thing then - Hull rating. Seems a bit backwards, building everything and then adding a hull to fit it all, but so far it seems to be working for me. Having the odd issue with variants/refits, but over all getting pretty decent results.

The only thing that leaves me scratching my head on what to do are some of the 30 degree arcs B5W uses; typically paired weapons 30 degrees port and starboard of the centerline. Would like some input on my options - 1) use the normal A & B Starmada arcs (opens them up a bit), 2) combine them into a single weapon with a G arc (basically remove one weapon and double the arc, you lose out on one weapon though if you manage to centerline the opponent), or 3) make both of them G arc weapons (really makes the weapons more flexible than they're designed to be, not my favourite). I hope to get some more input and get some common ships for all four "Big" races up after that.

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Re: Yet another B5 Thread

Postby TeknoMerk » Thu May 04, 2017 1:33 pm

I can understand your B5 conversion perspective. Sometimes a system or concept does not translate well. In that case, I just approximate it, but make sure that all converted ships remain relatively balanced as they were in B5Wars. Since I also use the show as source material, I occasionally depart from the disagreeable bits of B5Wars.

It's interesting that you mentioned using shields in your conversions, because I have also been experimenting with that as well. I usually restrict shields to the more advanced races (First Ones, Minbari, Centauri, Earth Alliance -- post Shadow war).

I like the idea of the Drazi super heavy fighter being a 1-hull ship. Another idea is to use one of the Unity heavy fighter with an additional -1 penalty to hit, representing it toughness. Just a thought.

Please continue posting your thoughts. Those are some good ideas. I am still converting the Unity Dry Dock from Excel to OpenOffice, so my new conversion work ground to a halt. Soon though...
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Re: Yet another B5 Thread

Postby MRCAcct » Thu May 04, 2017 4:44 pm

TeknoMerk wrote:It's interesting that you mentioned using shields in your conversions


It was kind of a compromise. I wanted to keep the feel of different weapons, and shields was the best compromise. For the smaller races that do use shields (White Stars, the Abbai and Brakiri) I was going to experiment with Ionized Hull (not my first choice, can't be destroyed), Countermeasures, or extra Screens; or reduce everyone's shields further (they're averaging in the 2-3 range right now) and just bump theirs up 1.

My rules lawyer brain marches on...

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Re: Yet another B5 Thread

Postby bekosh » Thu May 04, 2017 6:03 pm

Here's what I was thinking of doing for B5.
Shields are the point defense weapons that everyone uses. This allows Laser weapons to get modulating to ignore the PD.
Screens for armor. Just the primary structure. Add any EM or Gravitic shields to the screens.
Engines are based off the aft thruster(s) value modified by the Accel/Decel cost.
Countermeasures or Fire Control for high (10+) Sensor values, both for really high (13+).
Ionized hull gets added to Earth ships with Interceptors to represent the Energy Web.

I deliberately kept the weapon ranges short because my game table is pretty small, only about 25 hexes across.
Here's my first run of an Omega (Alpha model) Destroyer.

Earth Alliance OMEGA A-class Destroyer (670)
-Tech: Shields +1; Weapons +1
Armor: 4-3-2-1
Hull: 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
Engines: 3-3-2-2-1
Weapons: 25-20-15-10-5
Shields: 16-13-10-7-4
-Fwd: 4-3-2-1
-Port: 4-3-2-1
-Stbd: 4-3-2-1
-Aft: 4-3-2-1
Heavy Laser Cannon (4-8-12) 1×5+/1/3 (Mdl; Slw)
-Sustained Mode (4-8-12) 1×5+/1/3 (Mdl; Rpt; Slw; Slw)
A ☐| B ☐| E ☐| F ☐ // (2)
Heavy Pulse Cannon (4-8-*) 1×4+/3/1 (Crn)
A ☐| B ☐ // (1)
Standard Particle Beam (1-2-3) 3×3+/1/1 (Dfn; Pnp)
ACE ☐☐☐☐☐☐| BDF ☐☐☐☐☐☐ // (6)
Interceptor (1-2-*) 3×2+/1/1 (Crn; Dfn; Pnp)
ABC ☐| ABD ☐| ACE ☐| BDF ☐| CEF ☐| DEF ☐ // (3)
Equipment: Hyperdrive ☐ // (1)
Traits: Carrier (4); Ionized Hull

And on the other side a Minbari Sharlin.
Minbari SHARLIN-class War Cruiser (735)
-Tech: Engines +1; Fighter +1; Shields +1; Weapons +1
Armor: 4-3-2-1
Hull: 13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
Engines: 3-3-3-2-2-1-1
Weapons: 28-24-20-16-12-8-4
Shields: 8-7-6-5-4-3-2
-Fwd: 2-1
-Port: 2-1
-Stbd: 2-1
-Aft: 2-1
Neutron Laser (5-10-15) 1×3+/1/3 (Mdl)
-Sustained Mode (5-10-15) 1×3+/1/3 (Mdl; Rpt; Slw)
AB ☐☐☐☐| EF ☐☐ // (3)
Fusion Cannon (1-2-3) 3×4+/1/1 (Dfn; Pnp)
AB ☐☐☐☐| AC ☐☐☐| BD ☐☐☐| CE ☐☐| DF ☐☐| EF ☐☐☐☐ // (9)
Electro-Pulse Gun (1-2-*) 2×4+/1/1 (Crn; Dfn; Inc; Pnp)
AB ☐ // (1)
Equipment: Fire Control ☐| Hyperdrive ☐| Stealth ☐ // (2)
Traits: Carrier (5)
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Re: Yet another B5 Thread

Postby murtalianconfederacy » Fri May 05, 2017 8:36 am

I gotta ask--why a higher Carrier value for the Sharlin (which I believe carried 12 Nials and a couple of Flyers) as opposed to the Omega (which carried 24 Starfury's)? Is it b/c the Nials are better (and thus each fighter flight represents 3 Nials)?

And why is the SPB superior to the Fusion Cannon?
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Re: Yet another B5 Thread

Postby bekosh » Fri May 05, 2017 1:07 pm

The Sharlin sheet that I have lists 24 fighters and 4 flyers. So 4 flights of fighters +1 flight for the Combat Flyers.
All of my B5Wars stuff comes from Babylon 5 Wars Vault

The SPB and the Fusion cannon are nearly identical in B5W except that the SPB has better Fire Control ratings (SPB +4/+4/+4, FC +3/+3/+4) hence the SPB 3+ ACC and the FC 4+ ACC.

I used the Fire Control vs Medium ships for ACC.

Code: Select all

ACC     B5W Fire control vs Medium ships
2+          +5
3+          +4
4+          +3
5+          +1 or +2
6+          0

I know that B5W uses a d20 for to hit so this really magnifies the differences in Fire Control (d6=16.6% per point, d20=5%), but if you try to squeeze it down at 3-1 everything homogenizes out and all the weapons end up at 3+ or 4+ and nothing much outside of that.
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Re: Yet another B5 Thread

Postby KDLadage » Fri May 05, 2017 4:53 pm

bekosh wrote:I know that B5W uses a d20 for to hit so this really magnifies the differences in Fire Control (d6=16.6% per point, d20=5%), but if you try to squeeze it down at 3-1 everything homogenizes out and all the weapons end up at 3+ or 4+ and nothing much outside of that.


I loved B5Wars.

But as much as I loved it, the game had some serious point balance issues. In speaking with Agent One it was evident that they ball-parked everything, rather than relying on any sort of underlying mathematical principles.{1} Thus, I would say your conversion, while not being the same as B5Wars, is much more in keeping with the show{2}, and will pan out as point balanced in this system because Dan is a mathematical wizard. :D


{1} As bad as the math could be in B5Wars, the Turning Point system was far, far, FAR, worse.
{2} Minbari should be scary powerful when compared to EA ships, for instance. EA ships were shown to back down and leave in a couple of episodes.


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