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Star Trek: Attack Wing» Forums » Variants

Subject: Shield Facings rss

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Mark Bell
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So I was talking with a friend about Attack Wing and he was asking about shield facings. I told him there weren't any, and he was a little surprised. We talked about it for a bit and came up with this idea.

A ship gets 2x it's shield value in shield tokens.

The tokens must be assigned to the four sides of the ship card, representing 4 facings (fore, aft, port, starboard).

No facing may have more than the ships Shield value in tokens.

Every ship may, as a Free Action, reallocate shield tokens, again with no facing having more than the Shield value in tokens.


It may be unnecessarily complicated, but we thought it might make for more fun combat. ("More power to forward shields! " "Damn, he came up on our flank! We can't shift shield power in time...") It also makes for some interesting tactical decisions during movement. And if your ship's forward shields go down, you're not necessarily out of the fight.

Thoughts?
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I think the issue is that prioritizing shields rarely leads to an actual tactical decision. In the vast majority of cases there is only one optimal deployment for the shields. In the end it is a layer of complexity that just leads to players "going through the motions" and slowing down the game.
However this may be interesting if you made it take an action to change the shield priority or had the shields strength fixed in each quadrant to force players to react via movement.
 
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Shrouded In Mystery
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I like the idea, but err404 has a point too. Perhaps you can reallocate 1 shield as a free action and may spend a additional action to reallocate 2 additional shields? Also maybe you can only reallocate shields to an adjacent shield face (so not aft to forward), but maybe you could use the "reallocate 2 shields" to instead do a single shield aft to forward (as though you reallocated the same shield twice). Perhaps you could make custom upgrades that make it easier.
 
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Trueflight Silverwing
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It was tried in the original beta testing of the game and it slowed the game own a lot. As the others said, it is pretty much implied that you will always be using maximum shielding to the best possible facing and speeds up the game.
 
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Gabriel Conroy
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That's only true if shield energy can be freely switched between facings. If shields can be knocked out on one particular side and not easily regenerated then that presents a genuine tactical problem.
 
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Mark Bell
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All good points, thanks!

Clearly you would max the expected facing, but there are plenty of times your opponent won't be where you expect them.

It absolutely adds a layer of complexity, that was kind of the point We are both used to Star Trek Online/Artemis/Star Trek Tactical Combat Simulator/etc where shield facing matters (both your own and your target's), and felt there should be more invested in tactical choices in movement and facing (asides from just firing arc). It is easy enough to determine where you get hit - whatever side of the base that the firing template hits (that you're using when checking range) is the shield facing.

That's a very good point about actions and facings, I like the idea of a free action to move 1, action to move an additional 2, but not necessarily adjacent. Cards that restore shields can restore to any facing, and cloaked ships can reallocate their tokens following this restriction while cloaked.

You can pump one facing, but hope they don't get behind you or swarm.
 
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David Griffin
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It has been done that way in FASA as you said. In SFB you power all the shields and they ablate as damage is done. You can do some repair at the end of turns but if your shield is trashed, it pretty much stays trashed for the remainder of the combat. You can also reinforce shields though to a limited extent. Maybe your rules should focus on that by having just one or two tokens to put on one of the four sections of the cards (fore, aft, port, starboard).
 
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Mark Bell
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So having your main shield score as general tokens (as per standard rules) and having a small number of facing specific reinforcement tokens? I feel like that would be getting away from having relevant facing decisions - it doesn't matter too much which side of your ship is getting shot at, all your shields would collapse at the same time.

Our general idea was to encourage maneuvering over just park and spray - if your forward shields collapse, you need to decide whether to press ahead or turn to a less damaged array. This is definitely helped by making shield reallocation a limited action, but it's part of the strategy that we really enjoyed about these kinds of games.

Maybe the abstraction of this particular game isn't conducive to it, but since there are firing arcs, shield arcs seemed like it'd be relevant.
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Shrouded In Mystery
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I thought about this more and have 1 additional suggestion I'd like to make that also makes secondary weapons more powerful (as has been attempted in other variants).

When attacking an opponent, a majority of the time there will be two shield facings they could hit with a weapon. For this suggestion, the defender would be able to:
A - have both shield facings be able to absorb Primary weapons but is forced to choose only one shield facing to absorb Secondary weapons.
B - choose only one facing to take a hit from Primary weapons but the attacker chooses one facing for Secondary weapons.
C - have both shield facings be able to absorb Primary weapons but the attacker chooses one facing for Secondary weapons.

A leans the most toward defense and longer games, and C would be the most extreme difference between Primary and Secondary. I'm currently leaning toward B.

Overall I really like all these ideas and will try them out soon. I'll let you know my impressions.
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Mark Bell
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Ok, now that's pretty cool. I really like option B - most secondaries are Torps and Torps usually can home at least a little.

I've been lurking several of the Torpedo threads and think the "Secondary Weapons get to use the Target Lock they just spent" idea is pretty neat as well.

Really looking forward to feedback, I don't actually get to play that much right now
 
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Thematically I feel that Phasers are more precise than Torpedoes, but game play wise, Torps could use the boost.
 
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Tom Gabel
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I also play STO, and I feel like shield facing is one of the biggest things missing that would give the game more of a "Star Trek" feel. I like the idea of limited reassigning with a free action, and more reassigning with a regular action. There are plenty of custom crew (and maybe some tech?) upgrades that you could design around shield facing, as well.

Would you start the game with shields as evenly distributed as possible, or can players choose?

I was tempted to say each ship gets base*3 shield tokens, but that no side can be assigned more than base-1 shield tokens at any given time. Maybe that's too much for a big ship with lots of shields, like Voyager, but it seems like base*2 would leave very small ships, like a Romulan Scout ship for example, pretty vulnerable.

I'll probably try both and see how it goes.
 
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Ryan Caputo
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I think power distribution is way more thematic, you hardly hear anything about shields face its more often about diverting power.

I would have a power token on a power card with 2 or 3 regions (maybe more) with at least shields, weapons, cloak. Then have the token give a bonus or special ability when in the certain region based on the ships power rating.

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Mark Bell
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Yeah I was going back and forth on number of tokens, but 2x just felt less overwhelming. I think having 2x actually helps smaller ships a lot (like the D7's 1 shield), since they can rotate in another facing, or maybe just angle themselves well, while increasing from 2x to 3x doesn't make as big an impact. I figured 3x would just be too much advantage for the big ships, and too tempting to just even them out. With 2x I feel like you've really got to decide on how you have them set.

I figured you could arrange your shields however you wanted to before battle, since you'd pick up enemies on your long range scanners.
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Tom Gabel
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Yeah, the more I think about it, the more 3x feels like too much for the big ships. But then, at the same time, small ships like the D7 will be in a position where, even at full shields, some sides of the ship will be unshielded (this is a problem with 2x or 3x base shields).

So, going from there, I might propose a more scalar conversion, base+3? That way, at full strength all sides are shielded, and the more base shields you have the more you can distribute to various sides.

Hmm, gonna think a little further on this.

ryolacap wrote:
I think power distribution is way more thematic, you hardly hear anything about shields face its more often about diverting power.

I would have a power token on a power card with 2 or 3 regions (maybe more) with at least shields, weapons, cloak. Then have the token give a bonus or special ability when in the certain region based on the ships power rating.

This is a really interesting idea, and also something I'd like to play around with.
 
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Mark Bell
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That actually sounds pretty good - Base +3 (assuming there were shields there to start with). Either a general but more diffuse shielding or a focused but directional wall. And it's not such a huge advantage on the bigger ships at that point.

I saw the reallocation of tokens as basically re-routing power, just within the shield system.
 
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Maybe we just need a tech upgrade along the lines of:
Rotate Shields "At the start of the Activation Phase if you have no Aux tokens and at least 1 active shield, you may declare an 90 arc of fore/aft/port/starboard. If your shields are active, ignore 1 Hit to the declared arc this round. Crits apply damage as normal."

Note that the arc needs to be declared before dials are revealed. This effect does not stack.
 
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Tom B.
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Extra tokens and tracking individual facing strength


Lets keep it simple. No multiplicity of shield tokens.
Free action any ship can declare "power to x shields".

Option A: Like a reverse target lock.
Declare "power to x shields" for any enemy craft. You're not tracking actual facings. You declare the ship you're anticipating fire from, thus as a free action you "power to [ambiguous direction] shields!". All effects from this are only relevant to the one declared craft.

Option B: Directional
Declare "power to x shields" for any one side of your ship stand. All attacks where the closest point (measuring attack range) is on declared side or one of the two corners of the declared side are considered to be affected by this. This is kind of tricky because of range being measured to the closest point between the two ships, which more often than not is a corner and not a side.


Effect?

Damage reduction of 1 (if you still have shields)?
Attacker rolls one less attack die (if you still have shields)?
You roll one more defense die (if you still have shields)?
Re-roll one blank defense die (if you still have shields)?
Retain 1 shield if the attack would have reduced shields to exactly 0?

This would provide a nice bonus to attacking with swarms, which the game heavily discourages as it is.
 
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Mark Bell
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I guess I'm not seeing why using shield facings is problematic. Using tokens on the ship card keeps things easy to read at a glance and helps me remember which facing had what. You're already finding facings on the attacking ship for firing arcs, determining facing on the defending ship should be relatively straightforward. In the case of multiple valid facings, I like the idea of Defender chooses facing for Primary Weapons and Attacker chooses facing for Secondary Weapons.

The "Shield Value+3" idea I really like - it lets every shielded ship put one token in every arc (if they want) and arrange afterwards how they see fit.

As a free action ships may reallocate one shield token and as an Action may reallocate an additional two tokens - if you really need to reroute power to forward shields, then you're going to be focusing on it. It doesn't let you focus your shields in one arc and then shift it all to another arc because you forgot the Interceptor could do an about face.

This gives swarms a fighting chance against big ships - the big ship has to decide whether to distribute shields for all directions or focus them for the initial joust.

Using the tokens take the guesswork and memory out of keeping track of which facing was boosted. (And besides, who doesn't have a box full of shield tokens now?)
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Michael Nelson
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I played a demo of Star Wars Armada at gencon. If you don't know what it is, it's basically X Wing but with capital ships.

The way shields are done in Armada:
You have 4 shield facings, in line with the firing arc lines. when attacked you take damage to the side you were attacked from.
You can spend a token to move all/some of the damage to one of the adjacent sides.

Overall, you get the same effect you're trying here. might be worth looking at.
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