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Phantom League: Pilot Academy» Forums » Variants

Subject: Alternate (faster) combat system for PL-PA rss

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Norman Hills
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Even with the revised combat system in PA we still find that combat drags, so, during one session (admittedly after a few beers we tried this

Grab a several colours of 6-sided dice to be used as follows;

Red - laser attack
Green - missile attack
Blue - laser defence
Yellow - missile defence
Black - support dice

So, in combat

Create a 'destiny bag' with two of each colour dice in it.

the attacker:
- take a dice (Red/Green) for each attack icon he has on his ship/expansion/captain
- take a Black dice for each support icon on his ship/expansion/captain
- take two dice at random from the destiny bag

the defender:
- take a dice (Blue/Yellow) for each defence icon he has on his ship/expansion/captain
- take a Black dice for each support icon on his ship/expansion/captain
- take two dice at random from the destiny bag

Attacker rolls his dice
Defender rolls his dice

Attacker orders his dice high to low grouped by colour
Defender matches his dice against the attacker's dice by complementary colour, i.e. Red attack dice are opposed by Blue defence dice.
Black dice oppose black dice if possible, otherwise, they can oppose any colour dice.

Consult each pair of dice - the higher roll inflicts a structure hit on the opponent (ties have no effect)
Unopposed dice automatically win and inflict a structure hit.

========== Bit we were least sure of =================
Any ones rolled decrease the rollers escape number by one
Any sixes rolled on black dice destroy one opponent weapon system
==========================================

Repeat until someone escapes or dies. At the time it satisfied our primal urge to throw lots of dice and not squint at card text
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Timo Multamäki
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Nice system. Can we cut & paste this to the new ruleset Ian has been writing as the only alternative offered for the PA system. As I believe it has to be either PA or something along these lines.

I just don't like dice in my design, as I always roll the worst possible results

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Scott Everts
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Foothill Ranch
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Cool! Even better that Timo wants to make it an official variant!
 
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Norman Hills
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Hi Timo,

Yes, you are welcome to take it and insert it into the rules as a variant, I'm sure it can be improved.

Cheers
Norman
 
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Ian Gill
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Interesting ideas.

I assume both ships get to roll attack dice vs the others defence dice otherwise the attacker is doing all the damage. How are the support dice then used ?

Have you thought about giving bonuses for speed advantage ?

I assume the damage is just applied to the ship's current structure points so it might also be helpful to check if some of the improvement cards need revised abilities/methods of use.

In the card version, damaging a cheap "1pt structure" card can keep a ship alive but will this work in the dice version ?

Also, how can a ship voluntarily escape ? how is this achieved and does fuel level affect it?

if you make sure it integrates with the rest of the game (improvements/escape/fuel level/etc) then it would certainly speed things up and I do like dice in games.

However, I dont think I will try in the near future unless I find the PA combat system unworkable. Unfortunately we haven't really played a battle correctly yet, having made a few rules errors, and I never get a lot plays of a single game because there are so many great ones to chose from. However, PL has proved very popular so far and, despite the slowness, everyone has been keen to understand how to fight with the cards.

What also interests me about the card combat system is the narrative on the cards and that the number you get is linked into the improvements on you ship etc.
Having just played a rare game of Twilight Imperium 3, (and I own Eclipse & Galactic Emperor as well) I already have enough space combat based on simple dice rolls. The prospect of a bit more 'narrative' is what interests me about PL.

Cheers

Ian

 
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Norman Hills
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Fair points Ian, the players do alternate as attacker I'll tweak the wording & try to address this and some of your other concerns, as I say it was a quick & dirty attempt - I'm keen not to come up with something as complex as the original
 
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Ian Gill
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I do think it is a very good start at an alternative as I love dice as long as they don't "rule".
The challenge is to check that the new combat system doesn't change a lot of core decisions you might previously have made, eg about which improvements are worthwhile etc.

When I've tried to design stuff myself, I often think I've found a really great mechanic, only to find it makes the previous ones I'd already incorporated work less well.

What I did think was good was that Timo changed the system yet retained all the cards. Matching coloured dice to the stats is a great idea but it is always when the hard work begins.
If I had the time I would try to look at your idea myself and post anything I could think off as I like developing rules. Unfortunately, after spending many hours on the combined rulebook, I think I need to earn some brownie points with my wife so less gaming is required.
Good Luck and do post any progress etc.
Ian


 
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Paul D
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ELSTERNWICK
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I really like this idea!

I don't have a lot of experience with the game, so can you say how many dice in each color you'd need?

(And I was hoping someone, the OP or Timo, might have some further thoughts RE: the concerns raised by Ian...)

 
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Timo Multamäki
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prd1982 wrote:
I really like this idea!

I don't have a lot of experience with the game, so can you say how many dice in each color you'd need?


We are testing this extensively on coming weekend.

Quote:

(And I was hoping someone, the OP or Timo, might have some further thoughts RE: the concerns raised by Ian...)


Could you elaborate? Is the some link which I haven't seen?
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Paul D
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Sorry for the confusion.

I only meant with respect to the questions Ian raised above:

Posco wrote:

Have you thought about giving bonuses for speed advantage ?

I assume the damage is just applied to the ship's current structure points so it might also be helpful to check if some of the improvement cards need revised abilities/methods of use.

In the card version, damaging a cheap "1pt structure" card can keep a ship alive but will this work in the dice version ?

Also, how can a ship voluntarily escape ? how is this achieved and does fuel level affect it?

Ian


And:

Posco wrote:

The challenge is to check that the new combat system doesn't change a lot of core decisions you might previously have made, eg about which improvements are worthwhile etc.
Ian



I believe his concerns are just about how well and easily this can be integrated into the game. On closer reflection, I think Norman edited the original post to try and address some of his questions. (I haven't been able to play PL a lot, and never with PA, but I'm hoping this sort of alternative combat system might make it easier to get to the table.) Again, sorry for any confusion!



I really look forward to hearing how the testing goes this weekend!!


 
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Timo Multamäki
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I see.

I am in rather constant communication with Ian (behind the scenes) so the variant of this 'superfast combat' we have is taking in to acocunt (of course only up to some limit) the old system and it's intentions.

I will, however, have to say that it's extremely unlikely that you'd be able get tactically as versatile system as the PA battles and as quick as the dice based system we're now testing.

It will be a tradeoff. If you want speed, you'll get much more luck.
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Ian Gill
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Thanks for responding on the thread Timo. For some reason I didn't subscribe to it so missed the questions.

Taking the dice idea from Norman I have produced a draft system that Timo is going to try out. It doesn't use coloured dice at all, so is simpler yet i hope it integrates aspects such as Escape, Collisions, support by allies, multiplayer combats, and pirates more clearly.
I felt the original suggestion probably needed a lot of work in these araes.

In my suggested solution, fast ships with low Escape Difficulties will definitely have an advantage in scoring hits but may not be able to take any damage they suffer if they have low structure points. Getting the right balance though may be difficult.

I have to be realistic and accept my draft system may be useless soblue (ideas can be easy but getting things to work properly is tough) , or may be ok but need more refinement, but we will only find that out by proper testing.

My personal preference is still to use the card based combat already in the game. It does slow the pace of the game but, whilst players remain interested in how it plays out, I think it makes PL different from so many other space games where you just roll a 6 to hit.

However, it would be good to get a workable and tested "variant dice system" included in the combined rules

Ian
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