A Star Wars Silent Death Scenario
"You feeling better now?" The Rebel Captain sat down and passed a cup of caf to the pilot seated across the table from him. The pilot had obviously just returned from a mission as his flight suit and brow were sweaty. The pilot nodded without looking at the Captain and took the cup. His hands shook as he sipped the hot liquid.
"Well, we need to get the debrief done now, while the mission is still fresh in your mind." The Captain pressed a sequence of buttons on the comp-pad in front of him. A holographic display came to life above the table. It showed two Rebel A-Wing fighters, labeled Green 3 and Green 6, facing off against three Imperial TIE fighters, labeled Iron 2, 5, and 11. Both groups were on opposing courses and slightly offset.
The rebel pilot sighed and set the cup of caf down. Taking a deep breath, he began....
Scenario 1 - Patrolling the Depths of Space. Both Green 3 and 6 are Pilot 6/Gunner 8. TIE 2 is Pilot 8/Gunner 5, TIE 5 is Pilot 6/Gunner 8, TIE 11 is Pilot 4/Gunner 6.
"Well, we started off in a straight-in run. Green 6 was right behind me. At the end of our run we turned to port and faced off. The Imps pretty much mirrored our maneuver, except the last one went a bit wider than the others. Our first shots all missed."
* Green 6 vs Iron 2 - Range =7; [roll 3d8 (Low)] 7,4,1 (Miss).
* Iron 5 vs Green 6 - Range =10; [roll 3d8 Low] 1,1,5 (Miss)
* Green 3 vs Iron 2 - Range =7; [roll 2d8+1d6 Low] 8,2,8 (18>14 = Hit) Dmg 4-1=3 (later Damage Control rolls will repair this damage)
* Iron 2 vs Green 6 - Range =7; [roll 2d8+1d6 Low] 6,4,2 (Miss)
"After the first exchange of shots, we tried to get around them but all three of them ended up behind us. Green 6, uh, Lohl, got it." The pilot looked down at nothing in particular.
The Captain interrupted, "You didn’t launch any torpedoes?"
The pilot visibly turned a shade redder in his face. Without looking up he said, "Sorry Cap, guess I forgot."
"Well, go on," the Captain said as he shook his head.
* Iron 5 vs Green 6 - Range =3; roll 8,8,3 (19>15 =Hit) Dmg 4
* Iron 11 vs Green 6 - Range =5; roll 8,5,1 (Miss)
* Iron 2 vs Green 6 - Range =2; roll 4,5,4 (14:14 =Hit) Dmg (4+4*2) =16 =>TARGET DESTROYED
"After Green 6 got it I extended and then reversed into the battle. The Imps stayed in my front arc; one even blew his reverse turn." The pilot looked up straight into the Captain’s eyes. Speaking forcefully, the pilot stated, "And I made one of them Imp suckers pay!"
* Green 3 vs Iron 5 - Range =3; roll 6,7,5 (17>14 =Hit) Dmg 8 (add Critical Hit for +3 structural damage) => TARGET DESTROYED
* Iron 5 vs Green 3 (Iron 5 and Green 3 are both Gunner 8 so fire combat is simultaneous) - Range 3; roll 7,2,3 (MISS)
* Iron 2 vs Green 3 - Range 1; roll 5,1,1 (Miss)
"You were outnumbered two-to-one," the Captain stated in a matter-of-fact voice. He eyed the pilot thoughtfully. "Why didn’t you disengage?"
The pilot was still looking straight at the Captain. "After Lohl got it, I was not about to let go. The Imps and I reversed into each other again, but the range and angles were too great for any shooting. I had only one TIE fighter in my forward arc." The pilot allowed a wolfish grin to cross his face; "But I remembered my concussion missiles!"
* Green 3 launches two concussion missiles targeted at Iron 11. After movement, the missiles reach Iron 11. He fails his dodge roll and both hit for a combined 11 damage. The TIE fighter can only take 10 hits =>TARGET DESTROYED
* Iron 2 vs Green 3 - Range 2; roll 2,7,4 (Miss)
"So now you have your dream situation," the Captain seemed almost to be musing to himself. "The TIE pilot is obviously the lead - likely the best one in the group. You have no wingman. Yet you still stayed?" The Captain now sounded quite critical.
Still smiling, the pilot continued, "Seeing that I started out without an angle to fire, I extended again and reversed into the fight. He did the same and we faced off again."
* Green 3 vs Iron 2 - Range =4; roll 3,6,1 (Miss)
* Iron 2 vs Green 3 - Range =4; roll 5,5,3 (Miss)
The pilot was now speaking faster, "Since he was right in front of me I used my last two missiles. We then once again reversed into each other." The pilot stopped for a moment and wiped his brow with his sleeve. "He was one lucky Imp; he dodged both missiles. Once again we were nose-to-nose at very close range." The pilot’s eyes narrowed as he looked at the holo. "This time I made my guns count!"
* Green 3 vs Iron 2 - Range 1; roll 8,6,8 (Hit) Damage 10 =>TARGET DESTROYED
DON'T TELL MY WIFE I SPENT ALL MY GEEKGOLD ON OVERTEXT!
Next day as the situation is replayed for the entire squadron as a training hologram
Training Supervisor; "As you can see at this point the pilot is out numbered 3 to 1 and has lost his wingman. The correct thing to do at this point is to disengage and fight another day. But this pilot chose to do a reverse maneuver and re-engage the enemy" shakes her head in disbelief. "Luckily he manages to score a series of kills against what must have been some newbie imperial pilots out on a training run. While the result was technically a win for us I think I have shown it was tactically incorrect!"
Student leans over to the pilot and whispers "Best move I ever saw Maverick!"
Pilot makes cold staring eyes suppressing feelings, cut to next scene.
"Luckily he manages to score a series of kills against what must have been some newbie imperial pilots out on a training run.
What I found was that it is really hard for these particular fighters to get a hit in the Silent Death system. For instance, the "average" to-hit gunnery die roll for Green 3 is 13 or 14, either right at or one less than the 14 needed to match the TIE Fighter's Defensive Value of 14. For Iron 2 it was even worse, with an "average" expected to-hit die roll of 12 or 13 versus the A-Wing's Defensive Value of 15.
Once you hit the damage is not necessarily deadly. Both the A-Wing and TIE Fighter are "Low" damage meaning that you use only the lowest of the three hit dice. For Green 3 his "average" expected to-hit die was 4 or 5 and for Iron 2 the "average" expected hit die was a 4. Take away 1 for Damage Reduction and even when doubled this was only 8 or 6 hits (less than the full damage). In the case of the TIE you might not get to the Critical Hit roll since you need 7 damage; the A-Wing is a bit more fragile because 6 damage gets you to the Critical Hit.
Now don't get me wrong, I think the to-hit and damage mechanic used in Silent Death is very nice; I love the to-hit and damage being all wrapped up in one die roll (provided you have enough of the various polyhedral die on hand to put together the full combination of die that are needed).
In this battle, there were 14 gunnery shots and four missile fired. The missiles hit 50% (2 of 4) times with those 2 missiles combining for a single kill. The guns hit ~36% of the time, with 60% of those hits (or only 21% of the total shots) making a kill.