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Subject: Dice added to roll rss

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Greg Lott
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Little Elm
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Ok, so if I'm doing this right then when you target a ship you add the guns die (based on the range and weapon), a green die if you have crew in that location, and die or dice based on your target.

Why are we adding dice based on the target? This seems to imply that the target is trying to get hit. What's even more puzzling is that the battleships add 2 dice. I know their armor values are higher, but... shouldn't they have just been made lower to begin with rather than make the number high, but give more dice to the attacker?

 
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Tristan Brunet
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You add dice based on the target, because part of the difficulty of a shot depends of the target you're firing at. Smaller, quicker ships are harder to hit than Leviathan-class ones. They're here to replace a modifier (since the designers didn't want plus/minus modifiers in their game). It seems those target dice (seems the official name is "location dice") types depend only on the type of the ship you're firing at, so they could have included a general chart for the target dice, but once again, that's not the design philosophy of the game. The designers wanted to have all the info on the shipcards. So that's why those dice are indicated on the target shipcard. This has nothing to do with the ship "trying to get hit". This has more to do with its "difficulty not to be hit".

For your second question, I had the same concerns too, at first. Why do we always have to add location dice ? Couldn't they have adjusted the armour values, and removed at least the lesser location dice (the "moving" one), and just put a die bonus to use only when the targeted ship is stationary ?
I don't have the game yet, so I don't know all the more advanced rules (don't the torpedoes directly roll against armor values ?). But based on the free basic rules, I can say that adding dice rather than adjusting a hard threshold like the armor value adds variance to the results, without changing the statistical average chance of scoring a hit. It flattens and widens the curve bell of your breach roll results. Which means you have at least a minimal chance of scoring a hit even when you're in less than subpar firing conditions. It then allows more space for dramatic results (both positive or negative), and helps balancing the game (since changing the quality of a die is less radical than modifying a hard threshold).

Example : Imagine you're firing at extreme range (10 hex) with the 4inch gun of the Raven against the side of a moving Hertfordshire (hey, that's treason ! The important part being it's the worst attack configuration for the Raven to hit the Hertfordshire). You only roll a green die (d4) for your gun. No crew die here. With the actual system, you then add a black die (d12). The value of the two die (d4+d12) is then compared with the armor value of the slot you hit (which can go from 11 to 16, or 13 to 18 if the armor of the Hertfordshire is intact). If you hit the 13 armor slot of an intact Hertfordshire,for example (which, luckily, is an armor slot, meaning destroying it would then lower of the armor value on this side of the ship by 1), in the actual system, you'd have a low-but-not-hopeless 14,6% chance of breaking it. Your chances would get as high as 31,25% if you hit it again once it's down to 12 (with a minimal chance of breaking the keel). Of course, you have no chance of breaking the 18 armor slot up-front, but you'd have a meager 2% chance of breaking it once the armor is gone and it's down to 16.

Now imagine they'd get rid of that black location die, and adjust the armor of the Hertfordshire. Since the black die is a 12 sided die, the average is 6,5. Let's say they remove 6 from all the corresponding armor values. So now, the attacking Raven would still roll a green (d4) die, against armor valus which would range from 7 to 12 (or 5 to 10 once the armor slots are gone). Which means it would have absolutely no chance of doing any damage. No fun. And people already complain it's too hard to hit ships with the basic rules only (since bracketing fire seems to help a lot when it comes to hitting things) !

Of course, it also works the other way : shooting in optimal conditions would easily reach 100% chance of hitting without the added variance of location dice.
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Jake Rose
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Short answer: It is easier to hit a big target than a small one.

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Greg Lott
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jakecarol wrote:
Short answer: It is easier to hit a big target than a small one.



Thanks, all...
 
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Duke of Regulus
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Paptimus wrote:
It seems those target dice (seems the official name is "location dice") types depend only on the type of the ship you're firing at, so they could have included a general chart for the target dice, but once again, that's not the design philosophy of the game.


A couple of clarifications: location dice are not all the same for the ship class, the French "Ardent" has different location dice than other light cruiser, for example

Paptimus wrote:
For your second question, I had the same concerns too, at first. Why do we always have to add location dice ? Couldn't they have adjusted the armour values, and removed at least the lesser location dice (the "moving" one), and just put a die bonus to use only when the targeted ship is stationary ?
I don't have the game yet, so I don't know all the more advanced rules (don't the torpedoes directly roll against armor values ?).


Correct, torpedoes do not add the location dice, those that hit roll directly against armour
 
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