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Alternate Flyer Rules

 Post subject: Alternate Flyer Rules
PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:21 pm 
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Hi!

This was reposted from the alternate activation rules thread regarding flyers. Originally posted by Scream.

Alternate Rules suggestion.

- For the flyers, I agree that a big revision should be done because they still "unbalance" the game.

We could add some flyer types: fighters/bombers/transports and have in the notes of the stats table something like:
flyer (fighter).

About orders:
- first fire order: allow a transport to land/take off (no firing allowed except point defense when landed)
- advance fire: ground attack -> flyers can shot at units in the ground
- charge order: only available to fighter flyer class -> those flyers can intercept others flyers that are not landed

About Altitude:
-ground: landed transport flyers can use their point defense to fire at ground units
- low altitude: flyers can fire at ground units (bombs dropped by bombers won't deviate)
- high altitude: bombers can only drop bombs under them but they will deviate (2D6cm+scatter). Ground units firing at a high altitude flyer will suffer a -25cm range penalty. Fighters/Transport flyers kind can not target at ground units with their direct weapons.

About movement:
- flyers must move at least 50% of their base movement
- flyers can turn 2 times in their movement but each turn movement is limited to a 45° turn and they need to move at least 33% of their base move before being able to turn.
Example: a flyer with a base movement of 75cm
- can go straight 75cm
- can move 25cm (straight forward from their initial direction), make a 45° turn , move another 25cm, turn 45° make the last move of 25cm for a total move of 75cm (no last turn allowed)
- can move 25cm, make a 90° turn, go straight forward (no more turn allowed)

If a flyer movement makes it exits the board, if will be out of the game for next turn, awarding half VP (rounded Up) to the opponent for Victory Points count in end phase. Such flyers won't be able to enter the board in next turn (granting another time half VPs), they'll have to stay a full turn outside the board before being able to enter on the board from the same side they exit.

A squadron that have reach is break point before exiting the board can do a morale test will outside the board but will stay outside the board until is make as successful morale test. As per standard rules, 2 failed morale tests will rout the unit.

Charge Order:
- this order is only available to fighter flyers:
Flyers with this order will move to engage opponent flyers for a "dog fight". Their movement follow the flyer rule for turning. When reaching the enemy unit in base contact, resolve a round of "dog fight":
- Each player sum the number of caf value of involved fliers
- Each player roll a quantity of dice equals to the total caf value at the same time
- Each roll of a "6" remove an opponent model, no armor save allowed

Example:
- a Squadron of 3 Chaos DoomWings (Caf +6) engages in dog fight a squadron of 3 Ork Fighta Bomma (caf +3)
- chaos players will roll 18 dices (3x6) and ork players will roll 9 dices (3x3 dices).
- chaos players scores 4 "6" while ork player scores 2 "6"
- ork player should lose 4 Fighta Bommas (but loses only 3 as its squadron contains 3 models) while chaos Player lose 2 doomwings

Special use of charge order for fighters:
- A fighter squadron with charge order that has not been activated can be activated to intercept an enemy flier unit that is moving.
- This will stop enemy flyer movement and intercepting unit will move to enter in dog fight with enemy unit.
- 2 possibilities:
A) Intercepting unit has enough move to enter in dog fight with opponent so a round of dog fight is played
B) Intercepting unit is too short to enter in base contact with opponent: move the intercepting unit to its maximum move range toward enemy unit and leave it there, they were too slow to intercept and enemy is already gone
- Units that survived the dog fight round can continue their action but their remaining movement is reduced to 50% of movement left, this represent the time spent in dog-fighting.
Example: a Fighta Bomma squadron is intercepted (100cm base move) has moved 50cm before being intercepted. 2 Fighta Bommas survived the dog fight and they can only move another 25cm (100cm base move - 50cm move before dogfight = 50cm remaining move divided by 2)
- Intercepting intercepting unit is allowed maybe this intercepting action will slow down enough the enemy to reach it's goal!
- Snap Firing at intercepting units is allowed, maybe your AA units will destroy fighters before they are on target

Advance Order
- Flyers with this order will perform ground attacks, they can not engage enemy units in dog-fights or land.
- Bombers at high altitude can drop bombs under them but they will deviate 2D6cm (2 D6 + scatter dice).
- Bombers or fighters at low altitude can fire at ground units. Bombs dropped by bombers at low altitude don't deviate
- Firing will be resolved in advance fire phase (exception for bombs dropped during bomber movement that are resolved during bomber movement)

First Fire Order
- Only flyers with transports capability can get this order, allowing to land or take-off if already landed. Landing units can be intercepted by flyers before landing. Firing at a transport flyer will involve a -1 to-hit penalty and landing unit can be turned in the direction of player choice.
- Units equipped with jump-pack (or equivalent equipment) transported in a flyer destroyed in a dog fight
are allowed a bail-out roll at TSM 0.

Wrong Order or missing order
If the player forgot to place an order on its flyers or placed a wrong order (charge order on a bomber for example), flyer detachment will move its minimal movement straight forward and will fire at closest enemy units in advance fire.


I stole to Peter the idea of allowing flyers to exit the board and the half VP reward ;)

In fact, I think since many years that flyers in SM/TL/NetEpic are not in the same game than others units and I find how they're used in Epic:Armageddon better than what we ever get in our game system. Alternate Flyer Rules proposed by zap123 in the past were probably the best we ever get but we can go one step further.

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 Post subject: Re: Alternate Flyer Rules
PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:54 pm 
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Hi!

After reading them more carefully some thoughts regarding the rules.

1. I think transports may be a little too vulnerable to interception, although I understand they are generally weaker than fighters they should have some defense beyond just CAF.

I suggest two options:

add an ability called "flying fortress". Which gives the transport a higher CAF for interceptions

OR

let fliers on first fire orders fire their weapon in defense at the interceptors and those that survive then engage in close combat.

2. Turning. I understand what your trying to accomplish, but I wonder if a simpler method could be used. Also it ould require a template of some sort since, 45 degree angles are harder to do easily than say 90 degrees.

I have no good idea to remedy this though.

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 Post subject: Re: Alternate Flyer Rules
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:33 pm 
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Thanks Peter for your reply.

- For Flying Transports, we could simply add that in case of interception, flyers can add their number of point defense to number of dices rolled. Also, don't forget that you still can intercept an intercepting unit!

- For turning, I agree that 45° may be quite "complicated", so here is another idea:

- it cost 15cm of base movement to a flyer to make a single turn (from 0 to 90°) during its movement and they can not turn before having move by at least 25cm


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 Post subject: Re: Alternate Flyer Rules
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:11 pm 
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A 45 degree turn is complicated? Not really, just go to any art store and buy a protractor. Alternatively, a Turning Key from Car Wars could be used. Another way to think about it is to visualize a 90 degree firing arc to the front, then turn the model by up to either of the ends of that arc.

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 Post subject: Re: Alternate Flyer Rules
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:27 pm 
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scream wrote:
Thanks Peter for your reply.

- For Flying Transports, we could simply add that in case of interception, flyers can add their number of point defense to number of dices rolled. Also, don't forget that you still can intercept an intercepting unit!

- For turning, I agree that 45° may be quite "complicated", so here is another idea:

- it cost 15cm of base movement to a flyer to make a single turn (from 0 to 90°) during its movement and they can not turn before having move by at least 25cm


Hi!

I like this approach and was thinking something similar. Let them turn any amount they desire but deduct from total movement. 15cm sounds good to me.

I also like adding the point defense as bonus dice to the roll for defense. That's a good one! ;D

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 Post subject: Re: Alternate Flyer Rules
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:30 pm 
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MagnusIlluminus wrote:
A 45 degree turn is complicated? Not really, just go to any art store and buy a protractor. Alternatively, a Turning Key from Car Wars could be used. Another way to think about it is to visualize a 90 degree firing arc to the front, then turn the model by up to either of the ends of that arc.


Hi!

If you have to get a protractor, most people consider that fiddly. then again I don't want people arguing whether the turn was more than 45 or not. Gamers are gamers and some like to bend a degree or two their way to get an edge.

I like scream's proposed idea of turning however you want but it cost some movement. far easy to track than eye-balling angles.

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 Post subject: Re: Alternate Flyer Rules
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:35 pm 
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Will have to think on this, like the idea of an intercept type move (like snap firing), but not sure I like the idea of bringing in another form of "combat".


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 Post subject: Re: Alternate Flyer Rules
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:34 pm 
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Mattman wrote:
Will have to think on this, like the idea of an intercept type move (like snap firing), but not sure I like the idea of bringing in another form of "combat".


Hi!

Unless your proposing another (different) alternate system, I can tell you that trying to use the standard rules (or any variation of them) for fliers has been tried and using the base system does not seem to curtail the basic over powered nature of aircraft.

Of course if you got something up your sleeves I'm all ear! ;D :)

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 Post subject: Re: Alternate Flyer Rules
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:02 am 
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Just read through this. Is the issue that flyers under the current rules are too powerful or is the issue that the current flyer rules are kind of clunky and essentially a list of exceptions to the regular rules?

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 Post subject: Re: Alternate Flyer Rules
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 12:24 am 
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ForgottenLore wrote:
Just read through this. Is the issue that flyers under the current rules are too powerful or is the issue that the current flyer rules are kind of clunky and essentially a list of exceptions to the regular rules?


Hi!

Flyers have always been "clunky". This is because GW put no thought into them when they were introduced into the system. They are severely imbalanced in the original rules. Many attempts have been made to "get it just right". All have failed.

The latest ones seem to work pretty good. It remains to be seen if they are indeed the elusive fix.

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 Post subject: Re: Alternate Flyer Rules
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:40 am 
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ForgottenLore wrote:
Just read through this. Is the issue that flyers under the current rules are too powerful or is the issue that the current flyer rules are kind of clunky and essentially a list of exceptions to the regular rules?


Current rules (at least alternative flyer rules in NetEpic Gold Codex) are not that bad, at least they work., but:

- you'll rarely see a close combat involving flyers, it needs so many requirements and luck (need to get the initiative roll, need to keep your flyers as the last activation, need to silent enemy AA...) that you'll finally never use your expensive flyers for AA protection
- AA units are for some: expensive and powerfull (Eldar Firestorm/IG Hydras) or cheap and poor (Orks Flakk Wagons/SM Hunters). If you play an eldar/IG army, you can be confident on your AA ground units but if you play another faction, if you choose no ground AA unit, you can't rely on your flyers for air protection, that's sad.

Thess alternative flyer rules is to try to avoid the "rock/paper/scissor" when building your army list: ground AA units or not ?


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 Post subject: Re: Alternate Flyer Rules
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:13 pm 
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If we are rebuilding the rules from the ground up, why not just create some new order names for use by fliers, rather than trying to make the existing Charge/Advance/First Fire fit with what is being proposed.
I guess if we are going to adopt these new flier combat rules, then we will need to check the stats of all the fliers as this will be a fundamental change to how they work.


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 Post subject: Re: Alternate Flyer Rules
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:52 pm 
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Mattman wrote:
If we are rebuilding the rules from the ground up, why not just create some new order names for use by fliers, rather than trying to make the existing Charge/Advance/First Fire fit with what is being proposed.

I have been thinking the same thing.

I have been messing around with X-Wing and Wings of Glory a lot lately and both of those games do an excellent job of capturing the flavor of aerial fighter combat. Both are also similar to Epic in that you give each of your units orders at the start of the turn that determines how they behave that turn. That got me thinking about what exactly makes those games feel so much like dogfighting and the conclusion I came to is that aerial combat needs to focus more on movement and less on the actual shooting.

What this led me to conclude is that we need a different set of orders for aircraft, that the different orders need to constrain the plane's movement in different ways and that the different classes of plane (fighter, bomber, dropship, whatever) should not have access to all of the orders. Just off the top of my head, I come up with

Intercept - Move very fast but with limited ability to turn. May shoot at other aircraft but not ground targets.

Evade - Move a short distance, but with excellent maneuverability. Penalties to hit and to be hit because of the erratic course

Cruise - basic move, limited ability to turn, but not severely so

Strafe - use this to attack ground targets, limited movement and must end at low altitude

Land - self explanatory

Someone above also mentioned close combat between planes. That just feels wrong. I understand the idea of explaining it as close quarters dogfighting, but I don't think the flavor of that comes through at all, it feels like the planes stop and fight, which is wrong. It seems to me that planes should be shooting at each other and that in the three dimensional world of the air the miniatures should be able to pass through each other.

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 Post subject: Re: Alternate Flyer Rules
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:34 pm 
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ForgottenLore wrote:
Mattman wrote:
If we are rebuilding the rules from the ground up, why not just create some new order names for use by fliers, rather than trying to make the existing Charge/Advance/First Fire fit with what is being proposed.

I have been thinking the same thing.

I have been messing around with X-Wing and Wings of Glory a lot lately and both of those games do an excellent job of capturing the flavor of aerial fighter combat. Both are also similar to Epic in that you give each of your units orders at the start of the turn that determines how they behave that turn. That got me thinking about what exactly makes those games feel so much like dogfighting and the conclusion I came to is that aerial combat needs to focus more on movement and less on the actual shooting.

What this led me to conclude is that we need a different set of orders for aircraft, that the different orders need to constrain the plane's movement in different ways and that the different classes of plane (fighter, bomber, dropship, whatever) should not have access to all of the orders. Just off the top of my head, I come up with

Intercept - Move very fast but with limited ability to turn. May shoot at other aircraft but not ground targets.

Evade - Move a short distance, but with excellent maneuverability. Penalties to hit and to be hit because of the erratic course

Cruise - basic move, limited ability to turn, but not severely so

Strafe - use this to attack ground targets, limited movement and must end at low altitude

Land - self explanatory

Someone above also mentioned close combat between planes. That just feels wrong. I understand the idea of explaining it as close quarters dogfighting, but I don't think the flavor of that comes through at all, it feels like the planes stop and fight, which is wrong. It seems to me that planes should be shooting at each other and that in the three dimensional world of the air the miniatures should be able to pass through each other.


Hi!

I've always favored this approach. I think Bissler likes to correlation to the old counters for the sake of simplicity (always a good thing too).

I think both can be done by simply listing "use this [order counter], with this flier order.

As to the orders you listed, Intercept and Strafe are the easy ones that correspond to advance and charge.

Scream, melded "land" with "evade", which I like since they would go hand in hand. This corresponds to "first fire".

I'm not entirely sure what tactical niche "cruise" would occupy though.

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 Post subject: Re: Alternate Flyer Rules
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:42 pm 
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I saw cruise as the equivalent of advance. The generic, mid range order with the fewest modifiers. You can move a little, you can shoot a little. but you can't do any of the funky things units might want to do.

Intercept and Strafe I see as both equivalent to charge, intercept you are charging other aircraft (or just moving quickly), strafe you are charging ground units.

I don't see landing and evading as at all similar. In my view a craft coming in for a landing is especially vulnerable and would be easier to hit because it has to slow down and move very precisely and so might have a bonus to enemy units shooting at it, the opposite of evade.

Regardless, the important part, I feel, is that each order impose different movement restrictions on the aircraft. Each of the variations I have seen so far seem to focus on varying who and how the craft can attack based on order, but have just a single method of limited movement, regardless of what kind of plane it is or what it is trying to do.

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