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Twilight Imperium (Third Edition)» Forums » Variants

Subject: Boarding Parties rss

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Rad Oishi
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I thought it would be an interesting idea to make ground forces more useful in general but not so much that it would unbalance the game. I would like to hear your thoughts on the mechanics I came up with.
The idea is that the ground forces either destroy space units or take over units with the help of shocktroopers.
When a unit carrying ground forces engages in space combat in lieu of rolling combat dice, it's controller can announce that he is boarding a target unit with his unit. After the return fire step of the combat round, if the unit is not destroyed, the ground units board the ship. A mini-battle then ensues inside of the boarded unit (not sure if space battle should continue as normal or if it should be halted until the boarding combat is finished). A ship can only be boarded by a number of ground forces equal to its cost plus one. The boarding party rolls attack dice to defeat the ships crew. In order for the boarding party to defeat the crew they must accrue a number of casualties to the opposing forces equal to the ship's cost. After every round of combat the boarding party sustains half their boarding party rounded up in casualties, thus giving a time limit to the boarding party before they are all wiped out. In the case of a boarded unit that carries ground forces, these ground forces can return fire and must be sustained as casualties before the crew.
Once boarding combat is resolved space combat resumes and the ground forces return to their original space unit and cannot board another ship until the next space battle. If the boarded ship is taken over by shocktroopers (i.e. replaced with a corresponding unit from your reinforcements if available), the ship may participate in the rest of the space battle. Any ships that exceed your fleet supply aren't destroyed till the space battle is resolved.
Ideas? Thoughts? Comments? Constructive criticism is encouraged.
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Sean D.
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Interesting idea, it reminds me of MOO2 and getting assault shuttles. I don't know how practical it is to make space battle longer. I think it might slow the game down too much for the fun you get. Maybe the ship defending does a self destruct instead of letting itself be captured by the boarding party. You'd have to make a very simple way to resolve the boarding party, kind of like the Sabotage Run option.
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Brian Petersen
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Very interesting idea. Some things that need to be added: do the GFs receive modifiers from Leaders, space or invasion combat roll modifiers (during round of?), Gen Synth and Dacxive Animators application, Mech Units on each side, and can Shock Troops be generated and/or destroyed first?

In lieu of rolling combat dice, do you mean to remove a single Carrier roll, or expect someone to not throw 3 awesome War Sun hits to try and destroy a single unit?

I think the cost is a bit out of whack. I'd go with either 1 GF lost per unsuccessful round or hits needed is half cost rounded up. For the bare minimum 2 GF vs 1 Destroyer, that has no change.

Best case unmodified scenario excluding the Sol is 6 GFs at 8s vs anything. Against a Destroyer, the chance to hit is equal to the chance to not miss, so X GF success rate is 1-.7^X. With 2, that's 51%, 4 76%, and 6 with 88% no losses. 2 GF that fail the first round still have a 30% chance observed at that point, but before that, you're looking at a 66% chance that you'll destroy it while risking 1 GF loss.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, let's look at a Dreadnaught. You're required to send all 6 GFs to begin the board. Using the lose half rounded up method, there's a 12% chance of a total miss, which makes you automatically lose. A withdraw option might be good for that situation. Hitting exactly 1 time is more likely than 0 times, and would require the next 4 rolls to hit, a .8% chance. Hitting 5-6 times to have no losses is a 1.5% chance. Losing 3 GF 98% of the time is unacceptable, especially with a 1 in 4 chance of automatic failure.

Boosting your GFs hit rate makes any battle at least 2 GF per opponent Destroyer/Fighter a no-brainer. The Dreadnaught analysis improves greatly from this to the next since its 6th order. From just a +1, A total miss drops to less than 5%. No losses becomes 6.5%. With a +2, a total miss is down to 1.5% and no losses is 20%. With that bit of info, maybe losing half isn't that bad.

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James Grider
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Wouldn't the boarding ship be an easier target for the ship they're boarding? Perhaps the ship being boarded still has a chance to blow the boarding ship up? You already mention, if the ship survives, but I'd imagine the boarded ship would get something like a +1 bonus on their individual roll and it would be directed at the boarding ship. A hit at such close range might be with secondary weapons designed to fend against boarding and would just kill an invading force instead of the ship holding them all.

For example, a carrier with 5 GF tries to board a cruiser. The cruiser when rolling to hit would roll against 6, instead of 7, and if they hit they destroy 1 GF lowering the landing party to 4.

I'd think that Mech Units wouldn't be used, but Shock Troops could and would "act normally".
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Kevin Streicher
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I like the idea of boarding, but i think it should be easy( in term of rules) and you need to think about how little units have ground forces with them and how strong they are in a normal battle.

Boarding should take into account:
1) Higher risk for attacker than if he shoots at the other ship (maybe he needs to announce it instead of a normal attack with the GF carrying unit for one turn)
2) Higher reward: Instead of the 1 hit a carrier would probably make you get a ship of your enemy. Thats a lot of resources there.

Its awsome to "steal" a ship from a enemy, and therefore it would be nice if someone comes up with a fair nice and clean variant, easy as the sabotage run.
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Brian Petersen
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While the Sabotage Run is easy, it is terribly unlikely. The situation is for someone with a puny fleet getting womped by a war sun changes their chances of destroying a war sun from none to slim. A single fighter has a 2% chance of success. For X fighters, the equation is 1-.98^X since at least 1 hit is equal to not 0 hits. For a wopping 12 Fighters, the chance of success is 21.5%. Having 12 fighters after PDS fire and Anti-fighter barrage is very unlikely. So for any number of fighters less than 12, at least 80% of the time, you will destroy all of your fighters without absorbing or inflicting a single casualty.

If you instead choose to fight with those fighters, you're likely to at least eradicate his fodder while he eradicates yours, and have a pretty good chance at destroying his war sun. If you fail to do so, he's been sufficiently weakened for a counter-attack/another person to finish the job.

2) A carrier has a 20% chance to hit, and it will be applied to a cheap unit. A cheap unit is easily boarded by 2 GFs. They have about a 66% chance of success. If announced at a specific unit, the defender will take the cheap unit hit during the battle. The Dreadnaught pretty well defends itself. War Suns and Flagships are impenetrable as of now. Carriers are weak for a battle. Cruisers are the only fair decision there. Assuming you want at least 50/50 odds and don't have modifiers, the cheap units are the only ones you'll be capturing. Capturing a Dreadnaught at the expense of capturing the planet does not net positive resources.

IMO the game is biased enough to defenders, and giving attackers ways to turn their invasion force into an extra hit in space battle is great. I would change it to once per combat round, not per space battle, so you can inflict one hit per round.
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James Grider
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It seems like we're starting to get different ideas of how this should work so I'm just going to go through what I think of this.

* Space battle starts.
* Any round during the space battle you forgo an attack with a ship of yours that has GF or ST on it that you want to send out to capture a ship. (This ship can attack again next round).
* For each GF and ST you designate a ship they are going to try to overtake (you can try to overtake more than one ship per combat). You cannot assign more GF and/or ST to a ship than it's cost.
* For each GF and ST that is being sent to overtake a ship that ship's controller rolls against their ship's hit value to destroy that GF or ST. This represents close range defenses a ship may have.
* Each GF or ST that wasn't destroyed in the last step boards the ship it was designated to board.
* Space battle continues, boarding combat takes place side-by-side. Ships being boarded can still roll to hit.
* During space battle defender still applies where the hits go and can apply to units that have been boarded, but the attacker can cancel hits assigned to boarded units in favor of saying their ship wouldn't attack that unit (the hit is lost, defender can't apply more hits to a ship than a ship can take assuming that the attacker will just cancel the hits) (this one is a little complex).
* After rolls to see if ships hit, move to the next phase (but still the same round) which is boarded combat.
* If there are enemy GF or ST then one round of boarded combat is like one round of invasion combat (i.e. both sides roll for GF and ST and apply hits normally). If there are no enemy GF or ST, then roll once for each boarded GF or ST and a "hit" with them goes towards capturing the ship. If there are an equal number of hits as the ships cost it is captured, if not the boarders will have to try again next round. If a 1 or 2 is rolled with a GF or a 1 with a ST then destroy that unit.
* Any ships that are overtaken during a round switch sides immediately. That ship can be used by the person who took it next round. "Destroy" one GF or ST that helped capture the ship to represent the skeleton crew needed to run the ship.

If the space battle ends with the victor having one or more ships in the process of being overtaken they can still lose those ships. They may either deploy units of their own to attempt to destroy the enemies on board or they may scuttle the ship destroying all GF and ST trying to overtake the ship. The overtaker gets one more roll with each of the invaders to attempt to take the ship before the victor has a chance to take either of these options. If successful a new space battle begins immediately.

The whole process seems pretty complicated, but I think once it has been done a few times it would be pretty easy to understand.

Edit: Alternatively, while a ship has invaders it is too busy concentrating on them to fight. Don't roll for that ship during combat rounds. Instead they get one roll to fight off GF or ST each round. This roll hits when your race would normally hit with a GF. This replaces the invaders dying on a roll of 1 or 2. An invaded warsun would get 2 dice to roll against invaders each round.
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Jeff S
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Think it's a little cumbersome and unneeded. As for fluff, at the speeds and distances a space battle would take place boarding ships would be virtually useless.
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Rad Oishi
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The whole process does seem a bit cumbersome. I do plan on figuring out the rules on how leaders, technology, and racials play into boarding combat at a later date but I want to iron out the mechanics first.
Mechanized units will play no role in boarding combat. Only the boarding units were supposed to forego their combat rolls. Sorry for the ambiguity. Also I was going to include a clause that GFs that participated in boarding combat cannot participate in invasion combat. Some suggestions made I had considered initially (such as doing the boarding combat rolls simultaneously with space combat rounds) but it just seems like a pain to keep track of.
I definitely want to streamline the mechanics like what was suggested with the sabotage run but make it more viable. Perhaps do a combat roll where the target number is somehow determined by the unit being boarded then modified by the number of GFs (with a maximum depending on the boarded unit of course). I like the idea of the boarded unit being able to fire at and fend off the attacking unit(s), especially with the additional attack roll from an admiral.
Any ideas on what would be a fair chance (probability-wise) of destroying/stealing a unit with maximum GFs? And should a stolen carrier let you steal the fighters on board? Should the sustain damage ability come into play?
On a side note, I think this optional rule would help out some of the weaker races with racials that help GFs (Federation of Sol, Barony of Letnev, maybe Brotherhood of Yin).
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James Grider
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sirjonsnow wrote:
Think it's a little cumbersome and unneeded.

Unneeded? Definitely.
Cumbersome? I told you you'd think so.

sirjonsnow wrote:
As for fluff, at the speeds and distances a space battle would take place boarding ships would be virtually useless.

I don't think the distances are as great as you're probably imagining them, remember fighters have to be able to participate in the combat too and they're small ships. They have to be able to get in close to do any real damage. Going along with this, a small ship carrying GF wouldn't be much slower than a fighter. Maybe 1/2 as slow at the minimum, but that's why it takes an entire round of the combat before they even get to do anything.

zombiedoom1367 wrote:
Any ideas on what would be a fair chance (probability-wise) of destroying/stealing a unit with maximum GFs?

Hmmm... I think there should be something like a 60-70% chance of boarding units being able to take a ship (if it isn't carrying any GF of its own) since the crew of a ship doesn't have the same capabilities as a GF would have. Basically, they're not trained for it.

zombiedoom1367 wrote:
And should a stolen carrier let you steal the fighters on board?

A stolen carrier definitely should NOT let you steal the fighters (unless they weren't used in the combat for some reason*).

zombiedoom1367 wrote:
Should the sustain damage ability come into play?

Sustain Damage shouldn't come in to play, I think, since I think that has to do with armoring on the outside. Nothing to do with the inside of a ship.


* Another variant perhaps? Prolly a weird one though, I can't imagine why you wouldn't want to use them...
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Kevin Streicher
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A possible and simple "idea":

Every ship - also fighters - may instead of attacking try to board another ship with as many dice as it would normally roll for an attack, because a WarSun is as big, there are of course a lot of Soldiers onboard BUT it has to announce it one round before and may not attack in the round it attacks.

A carrier carrying 6 Ground Forces could announce a boarding therefore with 7 dice. (carrier+6GF/ST).

As the main purpose of boarding is to steal an enemy ship in case of success you would gain ressources and actions (because you do not need to "build" this stolen ships) which is of course a HUGE advantage. Just the psychological aspect of a stolen warsun razing your planets

So what are the rules behind this idea:

Round 1
1) Before "space combat rolls" but after any pre-combat effects Attacker announces which ships shall try to board which ship. One ship can only try to board one other ship - no splitting of multiple dice.
2) Ships trying to board may not attack in this round
3) Ships trying to board have to be assigned damage first (they are going close combat somehow)

Round 2
1) All survived boarding ships may now continue boarding or abort it (in the latter case they just continue like normal)
2) If they continue they now may instead of attacking roll 1 dice + 1 per GF/ST inside the ship. The defending ship may defend AND shoot in space battle with one dice and one per GF/ST.
3) Each hit the attacker rolls in a boarding battle does not do damage but sustain damage helps (its harder to get into a very good fortified ship). If the boarding guys success more hits than the defending guys the ship is captured. Sustain damage therefore counts as "auto-hit" for the defender. Each hit of the attacker kills one GF/ST if there is one.
4) Each hit of the defender kills one GF/ST if there is one.

Each ship may only try to board one ship per whole space battle. Fighters may board, but can not be boarded (they are just too small and i excpect them to be one person space ships as in various movies/series and it wouldnt be worth the affort)

Conclusion:
1 Fighter can never board a sustain damage ship alone. He could only achieve 1 hit and the defender has one autohit.

2 Fighters could board a sustain damage ship. 2 Fighters would rarely capture a WarSun as the WarSun has 1 autohit and 3 dice+1 Dice per GF/ST.

1 Carrier with 6 GF/ST would have 7 dice and as ST hit on a 5 it would be hell of boarding ship. But its a hell of a risk. You would have to also board with some Fighters to assign them any damage first in this round because if you loose e.g. 6 ST just because your carrier got blown up and you HAD to assign the damage to boarding ships first. Ouch that hurts.

Of course this is an untested idea and things need balancing:
Is the waiting turn necessary? Shall the boarding ship maybe also be able to attack? Is the attacker able to attack with a successful ship in the same combat (i say YES - for fluff reasons). Shall GF/ST/MU/Leaders be killed during boarding? If GF/ST successfully board a carrier/WarSun and its carrying carrier/WarSun gets destroyed, shall they survive as long as the new ship got enough capacity (i say YES - for fluff reasons). Could 2 ships try to board each other (i say YES - for...)
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Brian Petersen
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I think 50/50 +/- 20% for the minimal effort without modifiers and with casualties is about right.

"Ships trying to board have to be taken as casualties first" that means a carrier with 6 GFs (which should have the best chance) is doomed against any fleet. This is a case where one player would try to board ALL the ships, and the other just blows up the opponent's fleet in the mean-time.

The variant should still stay within the confines of previous rulings. Fighters are "supported" by carriers, not on them. They also survive during battles after the carriers are destroyed. Ergo, fighters cannot be captured unless they're the target of boarding (not a bad idea with/against Naalu Advanced Fighters).

I think Sustain Damage units should be easier to take when they have sustained damage. (Fluff: The ship is damaged and the crew is freaking out). That could be accomplished in one of two ways: a) boarding party gains +1 or +2 on all combat rolls. b) hits required to board are halved rounded up (3 for DNs, 6 for War Suns, 2 for Mark II Carriers, 1 for Enhanced Armor cruisers). c) same as b but reworded: hits are auto-applied half cost rounded down.

Duranium Armor shouldn't kick in until /after/ the boarding step, since it's at "end of a round of a space battle" which is also when retreats occur. Emergency Repairs is "at any time" so it can be played "at any time."

I think the boarding party should have the option of withdrawing by sacrificing 1 GF before they lose half rounded up. (This curbs the fail accompanied with a total miss in the first round on an undamaged DN).

Shock Troops are not forced to be taken as casualties first (like other ACs that force you to lose half GFs). If we switch it to 1 per round (makes it more likely that the defender will keep GFs off of planets), I would force Shock Troops to be taken as casualties first. Most of the time, you'd succeed in the first round with a Shock Troop anyways.

As it stands now, Destroyers and Fighters would be taken as casualties first anyways, so if you must declare, it should be declared on a unit type, not a specific unit. Carriers are pains to take right now, and not really worth capturing (you'd have 2 carriers far from home with less GFs and FFs). Dreadnaughts as they stand now are a choice of whether you want to take the planet or not, and taking the planet is always the goal. Undamaged War Suns are impossible to capture. You need 13 GFs, 2 fully loaded carriers, plus another cruiser with Stasis Capsules, and the War Sun tech if you want to capture it. If you're losing half rounded up instead of 1 per round, that's a huge pain, as hitting 12/13 times in the first round is near statistically impossible, even with buffs. Finishing off the rest with only 6/3/1 rolls is still pretty difficult and cost you all that production capacity/Sol CCs.

Declaring makes anyone familiar with the system to know to go ahead and kill off their DDs and FFs, and let you kill yourself on their DNs/War Suns.

Here's my proposed mechanics:
Space Battle:
Pre-combat everything works as normal
All ships roll
Remove casualties step

Start of boarding step

Each side may attempt to board other's ships.

Defender in space battle goes first (may send GFs onto carrier just to remove GFs from opponent before opponent can board defender's ship)

Any number of GFs may be sent to any number of ships. However, a rule of Thumb is that a roughly 50/50 shot with casualties is usually achieved by sending the cost+1. (Let's defender send 2 GFs against the opponent's carrier in an attempt to destroy 1-3 GFs. Risk/reward analysis for the attacker.) (Similar to landing in that you're equal at 2:2, disadvantaged but possible at 1:2, and advantaged, but can fail at 4:2)

Abilities that refer to attacker are considered as the person doing the boarding. The board defender is the player who's unit is being boarded. The defender of a space battle may be the attacker in a boarding combat.

GFs roll their combat value. Defending GFs are taken as casualties first. Shock Troops may be generated on natural 0's and must be taken as casualties first. If a Shock Troop is present at the end of combat, the ship is captured. PDS and MUs on carriers do not participate, but may be captured. Magen Defense Grid does not apply either. After each unsuccessful round of boarding combat, the attacker loses 1 GF.

Board combat continues until either there are no remaining attacking GFs on the ship, or the board combat is successful.

Sustain Damage units: Damaged units are punished by having half their cost rounded down already applied.

Reinforce/Abort: After the attacker commits forces to a target ship, the defender may reinforce the ship by paying 1 TG or destroying 1 GF in the fleet to move GFs in his fleet to reinforce the target ship. The attacker may declare an abort before any board combat round to return to his ship. Another full round of board combat is resolved, including the GF loss. The attacker may not change his mind, but if the combat is successful, the ship is destroyed/captured.

Board combat success?: A board combat is considered successful if there is still an attacking GF remaining when the attackers have accumulated a number of hits in excess of defending GFs totaling the ship's cost, the ship is destroyed.

End of boarding step:
Destroyed/captured units are removed/replaced. If a Shock Troop is present at the end of a board battle, the ship is captured. PDS and MUs on board carriers are captured with the carriers. The unit is replaced by a unit of the same type in the same damage position as the unit captured from the player's reinforcements if available. Any surviving GFs are returned to ships in the system that have capacity. They may not participate in a second board combat this round. They may participate in the next board combat round or invasion combat.

End of space combat round:
Duranium Armor is used.
Retreats/withdraws are executed.
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Kevin Streicher
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TomBoombs wrote:
I think 50/50 +/- 20% for the minimal effort without modifiers and with casualties is about right.

50/50 is definetly to strong. A carrier for example hits not on a 50/50 chance and therefore i would always try to board instead of shooting.

TomBoombs wrote:
"Ships trying to board have to be taken as casualties first" that means a carrier with 6 GFs (which should have the best chance) is doomed against any fleet. This is a case where one player would try to board ALL the ships, and the other just blows up the opponent's fleet in the mean-time.
1 Carrier could only board one ship and not many and i think its very good a carrier with 6GF is not likely to board a ship against lots of other ships. In a normal fight the carrier would be destroyed anyhow. Therefore you have the possible chance to MAYBE get a WarSun for example which is still better.

TomBoombs wrote:
The variant should still stay within the confines of previous rulings. Fighters are "supported" by carriers, not on them. They also survive during battles after the carriers are destroyed. Ergo, fighters cannot be captured unless they're the target of boarding (not a bad idea with/against Naalu Advanced Fighters).

I see it the same way. A Fighter can capture on its own. Its not ON the carrier and therefore would not be destroyed if the carrier gets the hit.

TomBoombs wrote:
I think Sustain Damage units should be easier ...
Sorry, would never use that rule. First i dislike additional roll modifiers because the complicate the rule system and second its dumb in my eyes to say a ship which can take MORE hits is EASIER to board.

TomBoombs wrote:
I think the boarding party should have the option of withdrawing by sacrificing 1 GF before they lose half rounded up. (This curbs the fail accompanied with a total miss in the first round on an undamaged DN).

I think they shouldnt. First because rules stay cleaner second because its a one-shot try in my eyes. You do not simply jump from one ship to another and back etc. Also i think it should not be necessary. With a boarding phase you just roll once per combat round and may retry in any further combat rounds.

TomBoombs wrote:
Shock Troops are not forced to be taken as casualties first
ST are forced to be taken as casualities in invasion combat first too, therefore i would not change this rule.

TomBoombs wrote:
As it stands now, Destroyers and Fighters would be taken as casualties first anyways, so if you must declare, it should be declared on a unit type, not a specific unit...

I think you misunderstood. I meant the attacker needs to assign damage FIRST to boarding ships, but he can freely choose which one he chooses. You take fighters as cannonfodder with you in a space battle, and then you also would have to use them as cannonfodder for boarding loosing another dice, because the fighter else could attack normally.

TomBoombs wrote:
Declaring makes anyone familiar with the system to know to go ahead and kill off their DDs and FFs, and let you kill yourself on their DNs/War Suns.
Sorry, i did not get what you mean.

I like your idea of an additional boarding phase. This could make it easier to understand the flow.

What if we consider a ship to have 10-attack dices to try a boarding or defend against one. Each GF/ST may increase this by one dice also the WarSun gets its 2 extra dice.

Still i think ships that are declared to board may not attack because else the boarding is too strong. If you get a WarSun/Dreadnought that is a HUGE advantage in resources and actions over your opponent.

Maybe in this boarding phase just each ship rolls against the ship it tries to board on its own. If one fighter tries to board a WarSun he would roll 1 die against its combat value of 9 and the WarSun rolls 3 die against its lower combat die. The fighter would only suceed if he rolls a hit and the WarSund doesnt. If the attacker used GF and has less or equal hits he looses one GF and may board in the next round again with one dice less.

If the attacker rolls more hits (GF, ST roll against their combat value, ships also roll against their combat value) he captured the ship. Boarded ships are not destroyed but always controlled. You can wreck them in the status phase.
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Rad Oishi
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It occurred to me that having the boarding unit choose a target to board might be a bad idea as the defender could always choose to take that unit as a casualty before it's even boarded, essentially mitigating his losses...
New idea that will make this mechanic more similar to invasion combat rather than a whole new thing altogether.

*Space combat ensues, each player can choose to have units carrying GFs and STs forego combat rolls, and these units can proceed to the new 4) Boarding Combat step after 3)Remove Casualties if they aren't removed as casualties.

1. Commit Boarding Troops: Starting with the attacker each player commits GFs and STs from his boarding units to participate in the upcoming Boarding combat.

2. Target Boarded Units: Then each player starting with the attacker chooses what non-fighter units each GF and ST is boarding (STs must be accompanied or left behind with at least 1 GF or revert to GF) up to a maximum of the boarded unit's cost +1. If a player chooses to board a unit that is also participating in the Boarding Combat step, the committed troops from that unit cannot participate in defending it.

*Each boarded unit's combat is resolved individually starting with the defending player's units.

3. Repel the Invaders: Units chosen to be boarded fire on the boarding troops (similar to PDS fire during Invasion combat). Casualties are then removed from the boarding forces.

4. Troop Combat: The boarding player rolls combat dice for each of his boarding units. All effects that effect invasion combat rolls effect boarding combat rolls. The boarded units player rolls combat dice equal to the cost of the boarded ship with a combat value of 8 (maybe more or less?) plus combat dice for the GFs and STs on board. If the boarding player has more hits than the boarded player he loses GFs and STs equal to the number of hits rolled by the boarded player (with STs being lost first) and wins the boarding combat (even if no Boarding Troops are left). He then destroys the ship or at the cost of one additional GF or ST, captures it if he has any surviving STs, replacing it with a corresponding unit of his own (with any damage sustained on it from space combat) and replaces any PDS's and MU's on board with his own. If he has less hits than the boarded unit's player he loses all committed forces and loses the boarding combat. On a tie all Boarding Troops are destroyed and the boarded unit sustains one hit (destroying the unit or causing the boarded unit to sustain damage if it has the ability).

5. Resolve Boarding Combat: After all troop combat on each boarded unit is resolved all committed forces return to their original units and may not participate in invasion combat during this tactical action. Separate GFs and STs accordingly. Each player can only initiate the Boarding Combat step once a Space Battle (To prevent further bogging down Space Combat).

*Proceed to 5) Execute Retreats/Withdrawls. Duranium Armor now triggers during this step.

Leaders on destroyed or captured ships are killed/captured/escape as if they were on a successfully invaded planet.

Admirals aboard a boarded unit grant an additional combat dice during the Repel the Invaders step, and a +1 to all combat dice granted by the ships cost during Troop Combat.

Generals can be committed to boarding ships during the Commit Boarding Troops step. They grant bonuses to GFs and STs as per Invasion Combat when boarding or while on board a boarded unit. If the boarding player loses the Troop Combat with a General, the General is immediately captured.

Agents can be committed to boarding ships during the Commit Boarding Troops step. If an Agent is part of a successful Boarding Combat as part of the player's Boarding Troops the boarded unit is captured as if a ST was there. If the boarding player loses the Troop Combat with an Agent, the Agent is immediately captured. A boarded unit with an Agent on board is always destroyed and never captured (even if boarded by an enemy Agent).

A unit with a Scientist on board may never be boarded unless the Boarding Troops are accompanied by a General or Agent.

Diplomats may need some kind of ability while on board a boarded unit...
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James Grider
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I've been working on this with one of my friends and have finally came up with a version of it that we both like.

Go here to see the file: https://www.dropbox.com/s/z6yuh2qoltywc4e/Twilight%20Imperiu...

This is integrated with the Space Battles section of the Living Rulebook created by Oigelb and updated by Zu7u. The link for which is: http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/78577/twilight-imperium-3r...-
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Kevin Streicher
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Did you already tried it and can tell us how well it works?
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James Grider
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Nope, haven't tried it yet. We're just in the stage of thinking it out. Right now we're in the middle of a game (one round a week) but when this one is done we'll probably start testing it out in our next game.
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Rad Oishi
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Keysdude wrote:
I've been working on this with one of my friends and have finally came up with a version of it that we both like.

Go here to see the file: https://www.dropbox.com/s/z6yuh2qoltywc4e/Twilight%20Imperiu...

This is integrated with the Space Battles section of the Living Rulebook created by Oigelb and updated by Zu7u. The link for which is: http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/78577/twilight-imperium-3r...-

Just as a quick suggestion you should use supplement ground force counters instead of trade goods for the defending ship's inherent forces.
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Brian Petersen
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That could get confusing if someone (Sol) is using GF counters on their carriers naturally. The GF counters are also in low supply compared to TG counters. He's also having them roll 9s. GF counters imply 8's plus modifiers.

When you say the counters can benefit from cards that grant +1 to all units, mostly Morale Boost, would that also include High Alert token, Letnev spending TGs, Norr Flagship, and Norr/Jol-Nar racial abilities?
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James Grider
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zombiedoom1367 wrote:
Just as a quick suggestion you should use supplement ground force counters instead of trade goods for the defending ship's inherent forces.

If you want to that's fine too. The point is just that something should be used to represent the defending forces on the ship. If you want to use beads that you bought somewhere or pennies even that would work. laugh

TomBoombs wrote:
When you say the counters can benefit from cards that grant +1 to all units, mostly Morale Boost, would that also include High Alert token, Letnev spending TGs, Norr Flagship, and Norr/Jol-Nar racial abilities?

Yep, the +1 (or -1 in the case of the Jol-Nar) in those cases are exactly what I was talking about.
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A. W.
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I can't see myself playing with this variant. It requires the consideration of too many other rules. It also takes the focus away from space combat. It is obviously more useful to convert enemy units to your side than destroy them. There's no reason why a player wouldn't try this strategy EVERY time. I find this variant would just fiddle with the theme of the game a little too much.

It would also slow the game a bit if every player was constantly buffing their ships with GF to board/repel boarders. It just creates a distracting metagame that weakens the main pillars of the rest of the game.

This variant is better suited to other games, or perhaps the inclusion of specific circumstances such as a special ship that is heavily restricted to prevent overuse.

To each their own; this is just my opinion. I applaud those who seek to innovate and tinker with TI3. I just can't see myself adding this additional warfare option into my games, as I think the existing ones would be weakened or rendered obsolete.
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Brian Petersen
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Let me rephrase that. These are indeed combat rolls, and therefore are enhanced by Norr and Jol-Nar abilities.

Are these the only abilities you mean to include (+/- all combat rolls, no other modifiers)?

Which segment of combat is boarding classified for other effects ((first) round of a space battle, during space battle (includes pre-combat), round of invasion combat etc) for purposes of other +/-1's given to all ships/units participating in that segment?
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James Grider
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TomBoombs wrote:
Are these the only abilities you mean to include (+/- all combat rolls, no other modifiers)?

I'm not quite sure what you're talking about here either, but any modifier that affects all units in combat will affect the counters (aka ship's crew, aka defenders, lol). If something specifies which type of unit it affects such as, "+1 to Ground Forces for one combat round" or "-1 to enemy Shock Troops for the entire combat", then the ship's crew is unaffected by the change.

TomBooms wrote:
Which segment of combat is boarding classified for other effects ((first) round of a space battle, during space battle (includes pre-combat), round of invasion combat etc) for purposes of other +/-1's given to all ships/units participating in that segment?

Boarding combat occurs during a space battle. One round of boarding combat will occur each round of a space battle in which units are attempting to, or already have, board(ed) an enemy vessel. Thus, in this way, there will never be more boarding combat rounds than space battle rounds between any two forces in combat. Furthermore, if no units are assigned to board an enemy vessel, either by choice or due to lack of units to assign, there will not be a single boarding combat round during the entirety of the space combat. In this way, effects that affect the first round of a space battle can affect a single (particularly the first) round of boarding combat. Similarly, an effect which affects any round of a space battle (but only the one round in question) will affect one round of boarding combat. Boarding combat does not occur during pre-combat and any abilities that affect units during pre-combat have no effect on units during boarding combat, unless the effect lasts until the end of the space battle round.

I hope this answers your questions. If you think of anything else don't hesitate ask or comment.
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