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Star Trek: Attack Wing» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Can we do Convoy Battles in STAW rss

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David Griffin
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One supposes that the replicator makes convoy battles uncommon in the next generation, but they still happen (ferrying important people like the Detapa Council, or industrial replicators, or gold pressed latinum etc.). They are probably more common in earlier eras.

But the convoy battle with some freighters, some convoy escorts, and some convoy raiders are a staple in previous games. Can we do them in STAW with rules for the freighters and a good constructed mission?

Let's start with the freighters. Do they cost the escorts anything? Do they represent negative points (in other words, do we need to pay the escorts to take them)?

Then there is the fight itself: escorts vs. attackers. Should they have the same points or should one have more? Note that this may depend on whether the freighters are considered an asset or a liability.

Lastly, what should the victory conditions be? How many freighters do we need to have left to win for the escorts? Or how many do the attackers need to kill to win to put it the opposite way?

To avoid controversy I'm assuming our freighters do not have weapons but do have some speed (say 3) with limited maneuvers (maybe straight or bank 1) chosen at captain skill 0 along with some hull and/or shields.
 
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Bwian, just
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There's a shuttle escort mission in X-Wing, which probably wouldn't be too hard to port over. Having just cheesed my way into winning an escort mission in FedCom this week, though, I'm never sure how to balance these things.
 
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Evan
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I can think of two general scenario archetypes:
1) Defenders outnumber attackers, but attackers win by destroying relatively few ships
2) Attackers outnumber defenders, but have limited time in which to complete the objective.
Each has its strengths and weaknesses; the former is closer to how I personally imagine an escort mission, but I think the latter may be slightly less cheese-prone. The main thing, I think, is to avoid letting it turn into "Deathmatch, with some freighters watching."

As for how to count the points, it doesn't really matter. For me, I'd only charge points for freighters if they were actually part of shipbuilding; I figure if you can't spend points to give them upgrades and such, that math might as well be baked into the scenario itself.

As for fluff, I bet convoys are still pretty important. I dunno whether it's because of economies of scale or the limitations of replicator technology, but DS9 showed all sorts of stuff being moved around. Personnel, weapons, ketracel-white, stem bolts...you name it.
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Jason Funnell
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It's a good opportunity to use the smaller less used ships as both raiders and attackers.

I'd put a time limit on the game and have victory conditions based on either beaming aboard the freighters to loot (with the usual dropping of shields and range limitations) or blowing them up. Maybe only one of the freighters has the required item/personnel and that is secret. Maybe each freighter has a different value of loot (again secret prior to beaming aboard). Maybe you can scan to find the correct freighter, but only once their shields are down. Maybe you need the various boarding party cards to achieve the objectives.....

As to balance it should be easy enough to work out a first draft and look at it for potential game breakers. After that playtest!

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Xander Fulton
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As a starting point, of course, this does speak to one of the biggest surprises I've had about the game.

With so many iconic freighters (including some entire stories build around them...helllooooo, Pakled!), I'm kinda surprised we have none in the game.

In the early waves, maybe that made sense, but we've seen had the BAJORAN LIGHTSHIP - of all things - come out. Nevermind the various shuttlecraft and such. Short-lived one-off ships like the Robinson and Dreadnought, etc.

And still not a single freighter! Bizarre...
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Ellis Norris
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The time limit should be for serious reinforcements. As in, of you don't accomplish the mission in time, enemy cruisers start warping in.
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Christopher Peters
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In convoy you always had the issue of the enemy focus firing on the shuttle. There will need to be a change made to how the battle works. I was thinking of a Blockaded Run type mission. Set up would be for standerd 2 players but the defender will have a planet in the middle of their DZ that is backed up to the board edge.

After both players deploy the attacking player will deploy 3 bases anywhere along their DZ. These have a Captain Skill of 10 and have 0 attack 1 agility 3 hull points and 2 shield. Attacking player will attempt to get at least 2 transports to the planet. They also can move at a speed of 1 or 2 and don't need dials. They will be able then to deftly navigate the playing field.

Having more then one transport that move independently adds a level of unpredictably to the game. And they are a little bit less tanky then the X-Wing version.

You also could play without the planet and just have the end of the space be the goal but having it means there is a point where they have to converge.


Any suggestions/changes for a game like this?

also

You could reverse the game and make it a evacuation mission. Player will have 3 ships that are on the planet that can be attacked till they launch and they will have to escape across the board.
 
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David Griffin
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So often when you see this on screen (and in stories) it's mere story armor that protects the "rebel transport" or freighter. It gets tougher when you actually try to game it out. There is no predicting luck.

We can't keep the raiders from concentrating on the freighters (if their goal is to destroy them). Having to board them takes much longer and leaves them open to attack. The escorts will be firing at them of course and could destroy them (especially if we are using small ships here) but unlike a naval game, the ships will move way too fast to use their approach to stop them (we'd need Armada for that ;-).

So let's say we make the attacker's want to CAPTURE the convoy ships (so no flat destroying them, or maybe destroying gets them 1 VP while capturing gets them 5VP). To capture maybe beat their shields down and then

ACTION: If a freighter has no shields and is not cloaked, then disable your remaining shields and beam 1 crew card (or your captain) to the freighter. That freighter is now your ship which you move as you wish. If there is an enemy crew on board, you each roll 1 attack die. A hit kills the opposing unit. If all crew units die in a round of combat, the ship reverts to the original owner.

That means we probably don't put guns on freighters (or 1 at most). At 6 turns, reinforcements from the convoy owners arrives with 50% of the points of the original owners. At turn 10 the match is over (or 2xthe original points arrives on the side of the convoy owners).

A freighter moved off the board scores 5 points for the convoy owner. If the freighter is owned by the attacker, it cores the 5 points talked about above. So we don't make the freighters FAST either, max speed 3. Plus if we give them perks, make them defensive so they're less likely to be accidentally blown up?

And no VP for destroying enemy ships, focus on the freighters!

Nothing larger than a cruiser should escort (though there is precedent for OLD Battleships to escort and for new battleships to attack so there is that possibility too). Old battleships would be like the Excelsior or maybe a Federation class dreadnought where the new battleship might be the Scimitar. But really all those small 3 weapon ships would seem ideal as convoy escorts and attackers. Klingon B'Rels would be king. Extra points for thematic builds (pure-ish or at least moderately believable).
 
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