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Space Empires: 4X» Forums » Variants

Subject: Changes to low odds firing - fun with dice rss

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David H
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Caveat: fairly new player, only played solo (approximately 15-20 games, both the dedicated solo scenario and the normal 2P scenarios).

I am very impressed with the game, especially its balance. I am aware of its long gestation period and the fact the designer is a regular on these boards. So I am cautious about rule changes but I have been experimenting with the following and would appreciate comments/thoughts.

5.5 Fire Resolution

If the calculated “To Hit” number is 1 use an 8-sided die to resolve combat, with a 1 scoring a hit. Note: If only 10-sided dice are available, then a hit is scored on a roll of 1 automatically, or on a roll of 2 if it is followed up by a second roll of 3 or less.

If the calculated “To Hit” number is 0 use a 12-sided die to resolve combat, with a 1 scoring a hit. Note: If only 10-sided dice are available, then a hit is scored on a roll of 1 if it is followed up by a second roll of 8 or less.

If the calculated “To Hit” number is less than 0 use a 20-sided die to resolve combat, with a 1 scoring a hit. Note: If only 10-sided dice are available, then a hit is scored on a roll of 1 if it is followed up by a second roll of 5 or less.

5.10 Colonies & Combat

The calculated “To hit” number is reduced by two if attacked by a hull size of 1 (eg, SC, DD, F, SW); it is reduced by one if attacked by a hull size of 2 (eg, CA, BC, R).

Analysis

The intent of the 5.5 rule change is have a more graduated change to %-age at the low end of the "to hit" scale, without eliminating the possibility of a "Luke, use the force!" lucky hit. Comparison of %-ages before/after are:

To hit.....Before...After
..2..........20%.....20%
..1..........10%.....12.5%
..0..........10%.....8.3%
-1 or less...10%.....5%

To retain the game balance, the small increase in %age at a "to hit" of 1 is balanced by an (almost) equal decrease in %age at a "to hit" of 0. Both are still about 10%, in big round number terms. So I hope to not affect game balance too much by this change.

There is a larger change when the "to hit" is -1 or less, but this occurs less frequently. An example might be SC+1 vs BB+3 or DN+2. So this rule change might affect a late game SC swarm versus large capital ships. However my thinking is that (1) the large capital ships would be accompanied by other vessels which would be targeted by the SCs first; and (2) I find it unsatisfying that under current rules a SC+1 has the same chance as a DD+1 or a CA+1 against a BB+3/DN+2.

Advantages: a more graduated %-age at the lower ends that feels a bit better, and an opportunity to break out all those funky dice that I haven't used in ages!

The intent of the 5.5 rule change was to reduce the devastation of an early attack by low budget forces. It reinforces the idea of large capital ships as "planet busters". Smaller vessels (even single ones) can still blockade as per current rules, denying the economy to enemy, but take longer to reduce entire colonies.

Comments or criticisms?

Edit - just realised this should probably be in the "Variants" forum - sorry about that. Thanks for shifting it.
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Niko
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Some interesting changes you are proposing. I'd be hesitant to change the fundamental balance that much, but modifying the game to make it more fun to you is always encouraged by the designer.
BeerBaron wrote:

5.10 Colonies & Combat

The calculated “To hit” number is reduced by two if attacked by a hull size of 1 (eg, SC, DD, F, SW); it is reduced by one if attacked by a hull size of 2 (eg, CA, BC, R).
This will seriously nerf both fighters and raiders. Level one fighters will now only have a chance of 30% to hit a colony, 40% if they have attack 1. This means that even a full CV will only land an average of 1.4 (0.2+3*0.4) hits. That means they will usually have to stay over a colony for an entire round to destroy it. An early game raider rush has the same problem.
Since hit and run is the name of the game (for raiders more than for fighters) I'd be hesitant to implement this.

Maybe have hull 2 have a zero modifier (hull 1 = -1, hull 3 = +1) and give fleet size bonus if there are more than 5 ships. Still makes it harder for a single CV, but two will be able to take down a planet even after losing a couple fighters.
This might make it too easy to destroy colonies in the late game though.
BeerBaron wrote:

Analysis

The intent of the 5.5 rule change is have a more graduated change to %-age at the low end of the "to hit" scale, without eliminating the possibility of a "Luke, use the force!" lucky hit. Comparison of %-ages before/after are:

To hit.....Before...After
..2..........20%.....20%
..1..........10%.....12.5%
..0..........10%.....8.3%
-1 or less...10%.....5%

To retain the game balance, the small increase in %age at a "to hit" of 1 is balanced by an (almost) equal decrease in %age at a "to hit" of 0. Both are still about 10%, in big round number terms. So I hope to not affect game balance too much by this change.

There is a larger change when the "to hit" is -1 or less, but this occurs less frequently. An example might be SC+1 vs BB+3 or DN+2. So this rule change might affect a late game SC swarm versus large capital ships. However my thinking is that (1) the large capital ships would be accompanied by other vessels which would be targeted by the SCs first; and (2) I find it unsatisfying that under current rules a SC+1 has the same chance as a DD+1 or a CA+1 against a BB+3/DN+2.
Large swarms are already heavily penalized late game for two reasons:
1) They fire later than big ships.
2) They have less hull points.
Combine those two and you already have abysmal odds for a scout swarm vs BBs.
Basically the ships that you might currently use to get a fleet size bonus and a 10-20% chance for a hit would then become only relevant for the fleet size bonus.

BeerBaron wrote:

The intent of the 5.5 rule change was to reduce the devastation of an early attack by low budget forces. It reinforces the idea of large capital ships as "planet busters". Smaller vessels (even single ones) can still blockade as per current rules, denying the economy to enemy, but take longer to reduce entire colonies.
An early attack is already penalized since you have to brave the dangers of deep space without exploration technology. If I can't build a fleet to defeat whatever makes it through I should lose the game. If that makes the game too quick just play two games in a row
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Liam
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Moved from Rules to Variants.
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