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Star Trek: Attack Wing» Forums » Variants

Subject: STAWMADA UPDATE rss

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Hello All!

Here's our definitive edition of STAWMADA, a STAW mod intended to bring that "big ship" feel back to the game (and to fix some balance issues).

There are two files available: a page which can be added to your STAW book (we paste ours over the credits page) and a very handy quick reference card which also serves as a starship systems display to handle shield tokens. Place each ship's shield tokens and card on its own SSD.

SUMMARY AND RATIONALE FOR CHANGES:

Alternating Initiative
We feel this approach is far more balanced. During the End Phase, Initiative passes from current holder to opposing side.

Full Stop
These are space battleships, not WWI aircraft. Yes, they can stop in space, but then they're a sitting duck.

Weapons
- Target Lock range is now 6 (3 vs ship with Green Cloak). Planet blocks TL and firing!

- Aux Arc: you may shoot at ships not in printed arc at -1 attack die penalty

- Torps/Missiles: short range is printed range (reroll any dice), long range is x2 printed range.

With these changes there's a reason to take missiles/torps now and they fill their role as primary jouster weapons while aux arc allows primary weapons to serve as best choice for turning knife fights.

- Reload: replace torp/missile "disable this card" and "place 3 time tokens" with "place 3 time tokens OR place 2 time tokens and 1 APT. If ship already has an APT you must place 3 time tokens". Adds an interesting energy management angle to these weapons entirely within the context of existing rules and game equipment.

- Cloaked Mines: deploy with 2x time tokens. Remove when last time token is removed. These things are navigational hazards and are deployed with self-destruct timers. Better balance too!

Combat Bonus and Penalties

- Primary Weapon Attack Dice: +1 at range 1. -1 at range 3. -1 vs target in aux arc.

- Agility Modifiers: 0 if at full stop. -1 if on speed 1 maneuver. +1 if on speed 4-6 maneuver.

This better reflects the relationship between range and speed and is still mostly within the context of the original rules. Shooters are encouraged to close the range to increase damage potential. Evaders want to open up the range and maintain high speed. This increases the contrast between ship types with some playing the role of tank in slug-fests and others playing conducting dynamic slashing attacks.

Shields
Shield tokens are deployed in four shield arcs. The number of tokens in each arc is based on the ship's printed shield value with the front being equal to the printed value and the flanks/rear being less.

This rule makes offense and defense arc-dependent increasing the tactical game tremendously. Even big ships don't want to offer up shots against their rear shield and all ships want to keep their strongest shields facing an opponent. This also makes double-envelopment of weakened opponents valuable.

And despite the increase in shield tokens on any given ship, the fact that Crits take down 2x shield tokens and that flank/rear shields are weaker doesn't change play time significantly.

Damage
The ship's printed hull value functions as before except that when damage cards equal the hull value the ship is not destroyed. Instead, the ship's hull "integrity has failed" and ALL subsequent damage cards count as critical hits. When damage cards equal 2x the ship's printed hull value it explodes.

This dramatically increases the cinematic quality of the game as critically damaged ships pile up the wounds. We've had so much more fun with the end game using this rule!

And ships are NOT immediately removed from play when damage equals 2x hull value. Instead they are removed during the End Phase as with D&DAW. This results in far more interesting, balanced games.

Since the extra damage counts as critical hit the game isn't that much longer. Heavily damaged ships tend to limp away from combat while their comrades try to protect them. It adds a layer of incentives that doesn't exist in the RAW.

Cloak
Basically Cloaking and Decloaking are actions but Decloaking is free and can't be prevented for any reason. Decloaking flips from green to red and allows you to shoot. Green cloaks +4 defense dice, red cloak is +2 defense dice. You can't fire with a green cloak.

Special abilities and upgrades that allow a ship to maintain a green cloak while firing instead allow the ship to flip the red cloak back to green during the end phase whereas red cloaks are normally removed at that time (essentially they get a free cloak action).

We've found this approach far better balanced than the official rules and more interesting while maintaining a proper relationship between captain skills (i.e. high skilled captains make their cloak/dcloak decision after lower skilled captains). Cloaks should be a stealth system and not a battering ram or riot shield. Combined with the new attack and defense die modifiers we've found that cloaked ships, especially Klingons, do better with dynamic slashing hit-and-run attacks which seems more thematic.

Squadron Building

- You may spend 90 SP and a ship's captain and upgrades may not be worth more than 20 SP.

- Faction Pure ('nuff said)

- Secondary Weapon Discount: ships with PW of 4 or less get a 2 SP discount on one secondary weapon to better balance the messed up ship cost formula

- Ship Special Ability: this is really cool. To enable a unique ship's special ability it must pay +3 SP. If you don't pay the 3 SP then you just use the ship w/o the ability which is disabled for the entire game.

Simple and it reflects the fact that the ship cost value is determined SOLELY by a ship's stat line which is silly. Ideally, each special ability would be costed based on its actual value, but we're ok with this simple approach. Thus each ship expansion really comes with 3 versions of the ship now: a base model, one with +1 shield, and one with +1 shield and unique ability. And the relative values are far more accurately represented! If you don't pay the +3 SP you can just put a few disabled tokens on the ship's text.

Playing the Game

The mission token turn limit provides a definitive length to the game that is fair to both slow and fast paced gamers. The victory conditions balance the value of dreadnoughts and swarms. We've had 5-ship swarms win as many times and 2-ship squadrons. This vastly expands the meta!



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D Conklin
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I like what you've done here... small tweaks that improve and extend the rules. I'll have to look over them in more detail and play a couple games. I haven't played in awhile so I will have a fresh perspective...

How much play testing have you done with these?

 
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We started the process back in the late winter/early spring. So March through April/May saw lots of iterations, rapid prototyping, and feedback from these forums. We even bolted on ideas from other Attack Wing/X-Wing family games. In fact, several of these mods are directly or mostly present in other games. DDAW removes figures during the end phase, our initiative system is used in other variants, X-Wing includes ships with full stop on the maneuver dial, etc.

From June through August the mod was really stable with tweaks here and there. In August we came up with the SSD and really enjoy it. This month the consensus was that we're happy with the result and one of my high schoolers said, "You have to publish this!".

That said, it won't be everyone's cup of tea and die hard STAW fans will not like many of the changes. It's really intended for those of us dissatisfied with Wizkid's failure (from our perspective) to capture the feel of capital ship combat and to clean up the design. We also felt the meta was too dominated by dreadnoughts.

I didn't even get everything I wanted! During testing I proposed a High Energy Turn penalty (aka Come About). Come About has its origins in the WWI air combat Immelman maneuver. SFB had High Energy Turns. So I added a mod that said if you conduct a High Energy Turn (come about) you roll 1 attack die. On a critical hit you suffer 1 hull damage (there were a few test versions with more serious consequences and probabilities based on it being white or red maneuver). My sons vetoed the HET penalty. :-( I thought it was pretty cool and very thematic, but they didn't grow up with SFB. :-)

Some of the mods that made it through testing existed in other forms (e.g. in one version shield tokens could be shifted between arcs). Others were dropped entirely. For example, we really wanted an Alpha Strike rule but it was just too powerful. Test after test and we couldn't get it to work. It was especially hard on small ships which were toasted during the joust phase.

The most important thing to us is that the mod:

- use only existing parts (technically you don't need the SSD but we think they look cool and are quite handy)

- minimizes edits to card text or makes virtually universal edits/changes so they're easy to remember

- captures the feel of big ship combat

- allows for a greater variety of squadron design to be competitive

- still allows a high degree of freedom in squadron design

The best example of that is one of my sons loves sneaky swarm squadrons. We extensively tested small ship swarms including cloaked ships against 2-ship dreadnought squadrons (or one really heavy ship with a small comrade). If the swarmers tried to engage in a slugfest they got pummeled. Of they did slashing hit and run attacks on flank/rear shields they could win. Which meant the big ships needed to support one another's "blind spots" or use terrain like the planet token to guard a flank.

There was just so much more variety than "fly into range, unleash a ton of dice, remove enemy ship". The new damage system and end phase removal also meant that we had REAL "I Stab at Thee" moments instead of ones contrived by upgrade cards! :-D
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Danny Hensel
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I'm definitely going to take a closer look at this when I'm off work. I've been wanting something sort of in-between STAW and SFB/Federation Commander for a while, and it looks like this might just fit the bill.
 
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This looks well thought out, I'll have to print a few of the rule cards and give it a shot.
 
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Justin Hare
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Well, unless you changed the action bars of Romulans and Klingons, you gutted those factions. Cloak is already battered and in bad need of a buff for the risks involved. You guys nerfed what it has left.

Not inherently wrong if you buff the ships you just nerfed. It does not look like you did. Fed, Dom, and Borg now pull farther ahead.
 
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Mike Wene
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Church14 wrote:
Well, unless you changed the action bars of Romulans and Klingons, you gutted those factions. Cloak is already battered and in bad need of a buff for the risks involved. You guys nerfed what it has left.


Good point. It seems to need a little more help here for cloakers. Just throwing something out:

"During the End Phase, remove the red cloak token if a ship received hull damage during the turn. Otherwise leave the red cloak token. If a ship starts a turn with a red cloak token it may re-cloak as a free action."

Sort of a perma-cloak as long as you avoid the hull damage.

Too strong then? Or still not enough?
 
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Quote:
Well, unless you changed the action bars of Romulans and Klingons, you gutted those factions. Cloak is already battered and in bad need of a buff for the risks involved. You guys nerfed what it has left.

Not inherently wrong if you buff the ships you just nerfed. It does not look like you did. Fed, Dom, and Borg now pull farther ahead.


You're half right.

Under STAWMADA, if you use stupid cloak tactics then you have been nerfed and deserve to lose. If you use smart cloaked tactics then you've actually been tremendously buffed!

In other words, the contrast between cloaked ship and shielded ship tactics has been dramatically increased (although STAW RAW didn't have any contrast between them).

STAW RAW POINTS DON'T INCLUDE ACTION BARS
STAW RAW doesn't take into account relative value of action bars. For example, there are K-R ships with identical stat lines and cost but different action bars, some of which are missing the cloak action. Essentially, they're even worse than your concern being expressed here in that they cost the same as a ship which can cloak but can't cloak themselves and still don't have access to a fed-style action bar! If the mod concerns you then you should be far, far more concerned about the RAW!

You also need to look at the entire mod in context and its effect on tactics. It actually makes it more thematic.

STAWMADA CLOAK DICE NEARLY THE SAME AS RAW USING RIGHT TACTICS
In STAWMADA, a Klingon with Red Cloak at speed 4+ is still rolling 4 defense dice. A Romulan is still rolling 5 dice at speed 4+ (ie the same as a Klingon under RAW!!!).

If you think that a Romulan in STAWMADA is horribly "nerfed" by rolling 5 defensive dice under Red Cloak then you truly MUST hate using Klingons under RAW since they roll...wait for it...5 defense dice while cloaked.
shake

In other words, a STAW RAW cloak is worth +4 dice flat. A STAWMADA red cloak at high speed is still worth +3 dice! And a green cloak is worth a whopping +5 dice at high speed!

The key effect is that instead of a cloak performing like a riot shield or battering ram it encourages high speed passes or "slashing attacks". You approach under green cloak to avoid TLs, uncloak at the last moment while accelerating to speed 4+ and launching your attack, and then re-cloak and zoom away until you come about to attack again.

The result is greater contrast between the factions and ship loadouts.

Meanwhile, under STAW RAW, a cloaked ship's tactics are no different than a shielded ship's tactics. Both can go toe-to-toe in slugfest.

CRUCIAL: STAWMADA SHIELDS HAVE ARCS, CLOAKS DO NOT
Shield arcs increase the contrast even further. In STAW RAW, there's no difference in defensive tactics between a cloaked and uncloaked ship as both the cloak and the shields are omnidirectional.

In STAWMADA, AND THIS IS CRUCIAL, the cloak remains omnidirectional while the shields are now arc-based. This means that a cloaked ship fighting to its flank at high speed of 4+ has a distinct advantage over a shielded ship fighting to its flank with its weaker shields!

So in one sense, you're right. If you're a Klingon ship plodding along at speed 1-3 and trying to fight head-on with a shielded Fed ship, you've been nerfed by 2 bonus dice. OTOH, if you're a smart Klingon player, you're cloaked and making a high speed pass on the Fed ship's flank so you're still getting 3 bonus dice while the Fed ship is facing you with his weaker flank shields.

CLOAKED SHIP TL RANGE > ITS OPPONENT'S TL RANGE
Under STAW RAW it's true that cloaked ships can't be TL'd at any range. And most people see this as a problem. It's also a not very interesting or challenging game mechanic since there's no decision to be made. I cloak so you can't TL me.

In STAWMADA a ship with green cloak can't be TL'd over range 3. But it can still TL other ships at range 6. This goes to the slashing high speed attacks and contrast in tactics. The cloaked K-R ship wants to stand off a bit at first to get his TL and then close the range. After his attack run he wants to open range again and cloak to avoid being TL'd again. The shielded fed ship wants to keep things close to mitigate this range disadvantage as it relates to cloaks and TLs.

CLOAKED SHIP IN STAWMADA IS EVEN MORE SAFE THAN IN RAW!!!!
Under RAW a cloak is worth 4 dice. Under STAWMADA it can be worth 5 dice at high speed. That's one more than under RAW. That means a Romulan ship with green cloak moving at 4+ is rolling 7 defense dice! It can't fire but it's pretty darn safe. It can use that safety to reposition itself. STAWMADA cloaks open up a new level of grand tactics for Klingons and Romulans.

BOTTOM LINE: STAWMADA CLOAKED TACTICS ARE MORE INTRICATE
In STAW RAW cloaked ships fight pretty much like any other ship and in fact have a distinct numerical advantage NOT reflected in the ship costs.

In STAWMADA, cloaked ships fight differently from shielded ships and the action bars are better balanced based on player tactics/choices.

The proof for me was my sons' approval of the cloak rules. They're high school robotics guys, very detail oriented, and very competitive. Their first and only choice for factions is Klingon and Romulan. My elder son prefers small cloaked ships. The younger one prefers monster cloaked ships like the Scimitar. We went through multiple iterations before settling on these and they've both used them with great success. It's now more of thinking person's game than a simple kid's game.

Again, under STAW RAW you can sail up in your cloaked ship and slug it out head to head like any other ship and even have a statistical advantage (ships that can maintain a green cloak had an even bigger advantage). Under STAWMADA you need to use different tactics and actually think for a change!



In summary, STAWMADA CLOAK TACTICS:
1. Exploit Your TL Range Advantage While Cloaked
2. Close Fast and Hit Your Opponent's Flank Shields
3. Break Off Cloaked at High Speed and Repeat
4. Do NOT Go Head-On, Nose to Nose, at Slow Speeds While Partially (red) Cloaked
 
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It might be helpful to look at an example.

A Fed ship with shield value 5 gets its flank shield nerfed to 3, a 40% reduction.

A Klingon ship making a high speed pass on a flank under a red cloak is rolling 4 defense dice instead of the RAW 5 defense dice, a 20% reduction.

A Romulan ship making a high speed pass on a flank under a red cloak is rolling 5 defense dice instead of the RAW 6 defense dice, a 16.7% reduction.

So flank vs flank, the Fed ship under STAWMADA facing double the penalty for fighting flank to flank than the K-R ships. That's huge.

In STAWMADA, in a head to head fight at low speeds, the Fed still has his full shields while the Klingon is rolling 3 dice instead of 5 and the Rom is rolling 4 dice instead of 6. Advantage: Feds.

In both cases, the cloaked ships can TL while the Fed can't. That another huge OFFENSIVE advantage since the Fed doesn't have time to TL AND battle stations at contact. Meanwhile, the K-R ship can come in with red cloak, TL, AND an evade!

You gotta look at the whole picture and not just the -2 dice under red cloak.

It's far more intricate than RAW.
 
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Mike Wene wrote:
Church14 wrote:
Well, unless you changed the action bars of Romulans and Klingons, you gutted those factions. Cloak is already battered and in bad need of a buff for the risks involved. You guys nerfed what it has left.


Good point. It seems to need a little more help here for cloakers. Just throwing something out:

"During the End Phase, remove the red cloak token if a ship received hull damage during the turn. Otherwise leave the red cloak token. If a ship starts a turn with a red cloak token it may re-cloak as a free action."

Sort of a perma-cloak as long as you avoid the hull damage.

Too strong then? Or still not enough?


Too strong as it sort of grants all cloak ships the Scimitar's ability at no cost. And it can get hard to remember such things. Much better to use token status as the only mnemonic.
 
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Justin Hare
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Dial it back a little. Don't use the sales pitch "if you are stupid then you won't like our version." It comes off condescending and/or patronizing even if it were accurate. I do not see that being the case here.

It honestly reads like you did not learn very good cloaking tactics in "STAW RAW." Your claim about not having to think in STAW indicates how far you got into it. If you think cloakers play just like non-cloaking ship, you had a lot to learn. Sensor echo is stupidly powerful in STAW and players don't really embrace it.

Your example is cherry picking. You don't point out that non-cloakers get the same defense buff that cloakers do for traveling fast. You don't get to use that speed-agility buff to try to sell me on the cloaking mechanics. We are still at cloak losing half the bonus dice for the same liability.

Then, all ships gain a significant number of shields. Depending on base #, anywhere from quadruple (at base 1) to 250% of original (any even number). Cloakers lose most-all of that buff when they cloak. The way flight path games work, a lot of the time you don't shoot at the same ship's same side multiple turns in a row. So multiple shield facings is a huge boost.

I work as an engineer and have played STAW with robotics guys. They like it because it is Trek, teaches fast, plays fast. You seem to have removed 1-2 of the selling points.

I approve of your passion, but this mod is not for me. I don't quite get the appeal of adding even more fiddly bits and odd rules to a game who's selling point was relative simplicity and fast pacing. I would recommend trying to make a mod for Leviathans to make a tremendously good Trek fan-game. Especially for those who want one feeling somewhat like Star Fleet Battles.
 
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Re: non-cloakers vs cloakers and the speed bonus, no, it's not the same bonus statistically.

For both attack and defense dice the first and second dice are not the same statistical value as the 4th, 5th, etc. dice. It's why the STAW point system is so seriously flawed. If you do a search on the topic there are many good and detailed explanations of why this is the case.

So if a Fed ship goes from 1 to 2 defense dice based on speed 4+ that's not nearly the same value as a Romulan ship going from 2 to 5 dice (+2 for red cloak and +1 for speed).

Furthermore, if the shielded fed goes for the speed bonus he's playing into the cloaked ship's hands because he's exposing his aft shield (strength 1-2) as the ships shoot past one another.

Speed 4 is not the fed ship's friend in this case as it needs to turn tight to keep its front shield facing the cloaker.

As for trying to "sell" you, I'm not. I'm just some guy who posted a mod to the board as a friendly gesture to others who may have lost interest in STAW RAW for the same reasons we did. I don't get paid for this.

For the record, WizKids does get paid for their stuff and they've clearly given up. The original design was lazy and "phoned in" and the community is dead. The market has spoken louder than I ever could!

As for sounding condescending, that was not my intention. Sorry about that.

But you gotta admit that at the very least I've played my fair share of STAW RAW before rendering a judgement on the system.

You've not played STAWMADA once before dramatically declaring that cloaked ships were nerfed to extinction.

And since you made that assertion without playing it once, without considering the difference in value between defense die 1-2 versus 3-5, without considering the effect of weaker flanking shields, without considering the tactical advantage of a full green STAWMADA cloak over a RAW cloak, and without considering the TL range advantage in the mod, one can't take your assertion all that seriously as it's based on an overly simplistic +4 vs +2 die reaction. Which goes to the extremely simplistic tactics of STAW RAW.

STAW RAW Klingon with cloak: 5 defense dice

STAWMADA Romulan with red cloak: 5 defense dice

The difference? Under RAW the Klingon gets the 5 dice for putting a token next to the ship. Under STAWMADA the Romulan gets the 5 dice for the token and the speed choice which will influence how his ship interacts with the opposing ship.

And under RAW it doesn't matter at what angle the cloaked ship attacks. Under STAWMADA it's much better off doing a flank or rear attack against weaker shields.

And there's the TL range issue under STAWMADA...

So yeah, STAW RAW is truly the dumb blond of the Flight Path family of games. The market has judged it, not just me!

Quote:
Then, all ships gain a significant number of shields. Depending on base #, anywhere from quadruple (at base 1) to 250% of original (any even number). Cloakers lose most-all of that buff when they cloak. The way flight path games work, a lot of the time you don't shoot at the same ship's same side multiple turns in a row. So multiple shield facings is a huge boost.


Yup, agree with you there. Under STAW RAW there's no difference between Cloak and Shielded tactically. Over simplistic and lacking in thematic quality.

In fact we carefully calculated the shield arc values to maintain as much balance points-wise as possible. There are a few small hiccups but ALL ships are pretty much the same as far as points are concerned pre and post mod.

More importantly, you're still not looking at the whole tactical picture which makes sense given the simplistic STAW tactics.

Under Stawmada, a green cloaked ship has been BUFFED. And it has a TL range advantage.

You're correct, under RAW the tactics are really simple and frontal assault oriented. Defensively, facing doesn't matter. Totally agree with you there.

In Stawmada, when you combine the buffed green cloak with the TL advantage you have the opportunity to attack the weaker flan and rear shields, especially when you consider Stawmada's re-balance of small vs large ships.

In Stawmada, cloaked wolf-pack tactics work. A few smaller, cloaked ships can run circles around a single shielded ship. It's like bear baiting and it is more complex than STAW RAW's simplistic "sail into range, roll massive amount of dice, remove enemy ship" tactics (again, not my opinion, but that of the market and even STAW TOs who have struggled to patch STAW's silly point system to FORCE players to take something other than 'noughts).

With a cloaked wolf pack and hit and run tactics you can exploit those weak rear shields.

And in Stawmada smaller ships get a 2 SP credit for buying weapons such as Torpedoes. This actually helps cloaked ships MORE than shielded ships. That's another factor that you failed to consider when you looked at +4 vs +2 dice.

This is what you're missing: on a shield 6 value ship its aft shield is nerfed down to a FREAKIN 2!

Under STAW RAW you fly your cloaked ship into the shield 6's face and go toe to toe. Under STAWMADA, you attack the rear shield with your torpedo and you get there by flying past with your buffed green cloak token.

You're also totally missing the point that each shield token is NOT worth the same amount. Taking 3-4 hits on the front of a 6-shield arc is not critical. Taking 3-4 hits on the rear arc means you're starting to take hull damage. That means a torp attack on the front shield usually can't penetrate the shield. But one torp shot can penetrate the aft shield on a mighty 6-shield ship.

You're being waaay too simplistic in your assertions.

This is also why STAWMADA provides better balance between small and large ships. Aft shields are 1 or 2 at the most, the same as small STAW RAW ships total shields. Two 30-point ships can work the opposite ends of a single 60-point ship and put serious hurt on it. Under RAW the 'noughts are such no brainers that tourneys FORCE players to take multiple ships (not even X-Wing force players to do that).

Quote:
They like it because it is Trek, teaches fast, plays fast. You seem to have removed 1-2 of the selling points.


And you based your assertion on what? You can't be an engineer. We engineers test things first.

Don't forget, playing fast is fine. I like that too. Resolving simplistically is not interesting to me. STAW RAW is resolved or solved tactically very simplistically. It's why you do NOT see easy to pull off 5-6 die attacks in X-Wing but they're common in STAW. Such things break the combat resolution system.

Seriously, this is as fast as the RAW. The difference is that under RAW you don't have to think. You can, oh, say, look at +2 dice vs +4 dice and flip out without considering all of the other factors that enter into the decision loop! cool But thanks for proving my point.

 
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A fellow BGGer sent in an interesting variation on Impaired Hull Integrity.

When hull damage = hull value, hull integrity is impaired (same as mod).

With hull integrity impaired you can test one of these two options:

A. double face down damage cards for each hit

B. double face up damage cards for each crit

As with mod, when damage cards equal 2x hull value ship explodes.

What I like about this suggestion is it's a little more subtle than ours. With either face up or face down cards being doubled it's like a 50% increase in hull value instead of 100%. Very cool, very elegant!

Of the two, I think I prefer doubling the face up cards. Will try that for tonight's game.
 
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Justin Hare
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You... Didn't really read my post or comprehend it.

You think STAW tactics are simplistic: They can be. They can also be extraordinarily detailed. Complicated rules do not make complex tactics and simple rules do not force simple tactics.

Single recent (admittedly anecdotal) example: With a better understanding of the OP and of strategy, I was using Karr on a generic Tholian ship and was beating my opponent's Dukat Scimitar and blind draw Buruk. That would not be possible if there was no high skill strategy in STAW. I actually killed the Buruk and had stripped down the scimitar to 3 hull when time was called.

As an engineer, i try to test most things. I do not test all things for certain reasons. Maybe due to lack of time, funds, hardware, skillset, or a good reason to. This mod feels like a solution looking for a problem. It hasn't justified itself to be tested to me.

I also understand that others find this mod appealing. I fault none who do. It just is not one I care for.

I do approve of some base ideas in it for STAW though. Target locks and secondary weapons operating at an increased range (say, range 4) compared to primaries would make them much more viable.
 
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Shrouded In Mystery
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I'm not sure if its intended here but low skill captains get a buff with cloak since they maintain their green cloak until they fire and keep the +4 defense, which I think is nice.
 
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stefano magliocchi
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I think that these are good rules for a more "realistic" use of the starships. Like you said these are starships, not WW2 fighters.
BTW, we live in a world where people don't want anymore rules more than 8 pages (sadly).
I appreciate your system and I like to test and play (I download the files anyhow), but I don't believe that some of my friends want more rules, even if they make the game more interesting.
 
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Mike Wene
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Valshier wrote:
I'm not sure if its intended here but low skill captains get a buff with cloak since they maintain their green cloak until they fire and keep the +4 defense, which I think is nice.


Since de-cloaking is a free action it has to be done during the activation phase. So low CS captains still have to make this decision before high CS captains. So no changes here.
 
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Bwian, just
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Valshier wrote:
I'm not sure if its intended here but low skill captains get a buff with cloak since they maintain their green cloak until they fire and keep the +4 defense, which I think is nice.

Not how I understood it: decloaking is a free action, and so should take place during the activation phase. Low skill captains have to drop their cloaks earlier in the phase, so they are more vulnerable to target locks during the activation phase (another modification above), plus the expected penalty of having a less effective cloak through most of the combat phase.

edit: ninjad
 
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Wartopia Wartopia
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You have that correct. Decloak is a free and "unstoppable" free action that takes place during activation phase. Since activations take place low skill to high, lower skill captains decloak at a disadvantage.

First, they suffer the red cloak range TL disadvantage.

Second, they telegraph the fact that they are decloaking which means high skill captains can tweak their own action decisions based on the lower skill captain decloaking.

In any case, when you decloak during activation phase you're down to +2 in combat phase. That's why it's crucial to attack at high speed on red cloak. You need to build your defensive die back to +3. And since that represents a 1 die nerf from RAW, you want to fight a flank/rear battle since the shielded ships take a much bigger shield nerf.

That's where the contrast comes in. Red cloak nose to nose at speed 3 or less is at disadvantage. Red cloak side to side or rear at speed 4+ has the advantage.

I hvae to give credit to my so n for the cloak system. He loves sneaky factions of any game system. He too saw the benefits of creating more contrast between cloak and shielded ship tactics and was a fierce defender of cloak factions during testing.

He has beaten my medium to large fed ships repeatedly with his small wolf pack cloaked ships. He knows (and prefers) not to engage in head on slug fests under cloak.

We also feel this is more cinematic and better balances advanced ships such as the Scimitar. Even in that ST movie the Scimitar gave away its position when firing or struck by enemy fire That's a far cry from the consequences free cloak of STAW RAW. Under the mod cloaks like that of the Scimitar essentually get a free cloak action during the end phase.

So if running a cloaked ship, you want to use higher skill captain to maximize your sneaky TL advantage and make sure to flank the enemy and attack those side and rear shields with your buffed torpedos. That's where cloakdd wolf pack tactics really shine when two small cloaked ships hit a single large ship from two directions at once. No matter what it does, the large ship will likelyface a buffed 5 die torp against a shield 1 or 2. If the cloakers are higher skilled the one baiting the ship from the front can keep its cloak.. The flanker can dcloak and fire.
 
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maggico wrote:
I think that these are good rules for a more "realistic" use of the starships. Like you said these are starships, not WW2 fighters.
BTW, we live in a world where people don't want anymore rules more than 8 pages (sadly).
I appreciate your system and I like to test and play (I download the files anyhow), but I don't believe that some of my friends want more rules, even if they make the game more interesting.


Totally understandable.

That's why we tried as much as possi le to "change rules" rather than "add rules". But in a few instances we did add a rule for enhanced tactical interest.

A good example is TL range. RAW is 3. We tested 5 and 6. So, no new rule, just a change. But then we liked the idea of red and green cloaks being locked at different ranges.

 
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Brendon Gareth

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I love your new rules - and the fact that you fit them all on a handy card-frame - but I was wondering why you arrived at 2 Time Tokens for Cloaked Mines. Why not a rule to effect all minefield tokens, and why not a higher number of Tokens (but still shorter than an entire game)? Could you offer any insight about this from your playtesting?
 
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Mines in general and cloaked mines in particular were subject to many experiments. At one point we even had completely custom cards with new text and costs!

But we really wanted to avoid physical changes to components as much as possible. And we wanted changes to be global where possible to make them easy to remember (eg cloaks and torps/missiles).

For cloaked mines we ended up with the 2 time tokens because it seemed to balqnce their lower cost with their extraordinary effectiveness relative to AM mines and it made fluff sense which also serves as a mnemonic.

We also toyed with ideas from X-Wing such as removing mine tokens after detonation but that didn't address the odd point value relatio ship between cloaked and AM mines.

We settled on 2 TT as it seemed to address the cloaked mine corner camping issue relative to the 12 mission tokens used to track game length. Without the TT CMs allow one to build a wall on the board. 3 or 4 TTs still felt too effective as you could deploy them in a rolling manner. 1 TT was too little and nerfed the cloaked mines too much. So 2 TTs felt short enough to make cloaked mines less of a "no brainer" but long enough to influence the battle. And if deployed sequentially 2 or 3 cloaked mines mean that a spot on the board is still covered for 4 to 6 turns.

We're definitely open to new ideas on cloaked mines. Again, the goal is to use existing components and keep things thematic. The biggest problems with cloaked mines is their low cost and massive coverage. Limiting their available time seemed the least intrusive change we could make as it doesn't delete text or change the point value.
 
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King of the Wood
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The aux fire arc: does this not devalue ships that have secondary fire arcs that are 360 degrees or cards that give rear fire attack etc?
 
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