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Star Trek: Frontiers» Forums » Rules

Subject: deconstructing combat and special weapons / shields rules rss

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I've been trying to wrap my mind around all the differences between PCvPC and NPCvPC combat, as well as the interactions between special weapons, shields, and resistances.

Is the following a valid deconstruction of the rules?

Both PCvPC and NPCvPC combat follows effectively the following sequence:

Long range phase:
defender or PC attacks, aggressor or NPC blocks
(NPCs skip this) aggressor attacks, defender blocks
Note: attacker is assumed to have disruptors (i.e. PC shields are halved)
Close range attack phase
aggressor or NPC attacks, defender or PC blocks
defender or PC attacks, aggressor or NPC blocks

General principles:

1. Any shield (normal or special) is efficient against phasers.
2. Like shields/resistance types are always efficient against like attack types (if at least one like attack type is present in case of multiple attack types), both for PC and NPC attack and defense, for any number of NPC tokens.
3. NPC resistances are the same thing as shields equal to half of the corresponding attack (round up), [except that special non-phaser resistances do NOT count as shields against phaser attacks].
4. Damage cards are assigned equal to [points of damage]/[defense], rounded down for PC attacks, rounded up for NPC. NPCs are destroyed instead of receiving one damage card or retreating.

Questions:
1. Does this pretty much encapsulate all the combat rules correctly?
2. It seems to me that when deconstructed, the PCvPC and NPCvNPC combat is basically the same thing, except for some asymmetries for which there is clearly a need (such as NPCs being destroyed rather than receiving damage cards, and being able to attack / defend multiple NPC tokens separately). However, there are two asymmetries for which I see no rhyme or reason (italicized above). In particular: (a) special PC shields are always efficient against phasers, but special (non-phaser) resistances are NOT resistant against phasers; (b) round up vs. round down for damage. Am I understanding those correctly?
3. Assuming the answer to #2 is yes, what is the reason for the two asymmetries?
 
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Robert Leonhard
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I didn't want to let your questions go unanswered, but I'm having a bit of trouble understanding you. Plus I always solo, so I'm not real familiar with player-vs.-player stuff.

However, I will try to shine a bit of light on some of your questions. My impression, though, (I say this respectfully) is that your deconstruction is more complicated than the actual rules.

Not sure what your "PC" and "NPC" means.

The sequence of combat you lay out is basically correct. But this applies only to space battles, not away team missions, obviously:

1. Long-range phase. If you have long-range capability, you can use it.
2. Shields phase. You can use your shields (from Action Cards, Undiscovered Cards, Advance Action Cards, Crew Cards, or Skills) to block enemy attacks. You must block each enemy attack separately.
3. Assign Damage phase. Any unblocked damage inflicts damage cards on you. Antimatter weapons cause unblocked damage to be doubled for calculation.
4. Attack phase. (I wouldn't call this 'close-range', because adding language to already complex rules confuses things.) You can now use your remaining cards to try to overcome enemy Defense Values. You can attack multiple enemies together.

Resistances:

The best way to think about resistances and efficiencies is to start with the enemy counter in every case. If it's attacking you and has a special type of attack, then your shields will be halved UNLESS you can match the enemy's weapon type with the right shield. If the counter is defending against your attack, and it has resistance, your attacks will be halved UNLESS you can attack with weapons that DO NOT MATCH the resistance.
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Thanks for the reply!

Robert Leonhard wrote:
I'm not real familiar with player-vs.-player stuff.


Oh, my "deconstruction" only makes sense from a player-vs-player perspective. I was basically trying to see if it was possible to treat player-vs-token combat as a kind of a special case of player-vs-player combat, so I don't have to keep two different rulesets for combat straight in my mind. I still maintain that this is possible and simpler than having a whole different ruleset for player vs. player.

PC: player character (i.e. player controlled ship)
NPC: non-player character (i.e. enemy token)

I see what you are saying with regard to resistances, but I was trying to see if I could express the mechanic of resistances through the mechanic of shields. This can be done (see my OP) -- resistances are equivalent to shields "played" by the enemy token as if the enemy token was another player in PvP combat, equal to half of the corresponding attack of the same type as the resistance (rounded up). This way I just need to remember how shields work and can forget about resistances.

The only thing that seems asymmetric and strange to me is that special resistances (torpedo and pulse) are not resistant to normal attacks, but special shields are. Thematically, it feels that special resistances should be stronger than normal (i.e. phaser) resistances, but per rules they are much weaker. Usually most attacks are phasers, so phaser resistances are much harder to work around than special resistances.
 
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John Brown
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The way I read the rules, both sides essentially have Disruptors during the Long Range Attack Phase of Player v Player combat.

Also, damage is unblocked attack divided by defense value, rounded down. This is a departure from the usual "rounded up" in combat versus enemy tokens.

I tend to use the following terminology to explain the roles:
Attacking Player - The player initiating the PvP attack
Defending Player - The other player involved in the PvP attack
attacker - The player who, in this part of the phase, is playing attack cards
defender - The player who, in this part of the phase, is playing shields cards.

1) Long Range Attack Phase (block 1 attack per 2 shields unless Attacker loses diruptor effect is used/played)
1a) Defending Player is the attacker, Attacking Player is the defender
1b) Attacking Player is the attacker, Defending Player is the defender
2) Close Range Attack Phase
2a) Attacking Player is the attacker, Defending Player is the defender
2b) Assuming Attacking Player did not/could not force a retreat: Defending Player is the attacker, Attacking Player is the defender.

 
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Granger44 wrote:
The way I read the rules, both sides essentially have Disruptors during the Long Range Attack Phase of Player v Player combat.


Right, which is how it appears in my OP. Note that I am using standard rulebook terminology:

"aggressor": what you call "attacking player"
"defender": "what you call "defending player"
"attacker": same as your usage
"blocker" : what you call "defender"

With standard rulebook terminology in mind, do you see any errors in my deconstruction? I know the rulebook terminology takes a bit of effort to keep straight...

Granger44 wrote:
1) Long Range Attack Phase (block 1 attack per 2 shields unless Attacker loses diruptor effect is used/played)
1a) Defending Player is the attacker, Attacking Player is the defender
1b) Attacking Player is the attacker, Defending Player is the defender
2) Close Range Attack Phase
2a) Attacking Player is the attacker, Defending Player is the defender
2b) Assuming Attacking Player did not/could not force a retreat: Defending Player is the attacker, Attacking Player is the defender.


That is a perfectly fine Player-vs-Player sequence. However, the whole point of my OP is to capture both the player-vs-player as well as player-vs-token combat in one sequence, to avoid the need to remember two separate sequences. (Whether or not that is actually easier is another story -- for my brain at least it is easier.)
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