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B-17: Queen of the Skies» Forums » General

Subject: SkyMaster 'Referee' sheet for Solo Play rss

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Stefano Rebessi
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I do not see the file online, when it will be put up I will check it :)
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Alan Barrett
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It's taking a while. Don't expect too much; it's just an idea, that's all. OK - Thanks.
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Stefano Rebessi
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It is not online yet I suppose,

anyway I've taken a look to your ideas regarding squadron rules. Despite not being detailed it is much more flexible and easy to use than the standard rules. Playing over 6 or more times the same mission could be boring and tiresome. I have stopped the updates on my squadron command because it was impossible to keep up all the stats and it was too much time consuming.

I like the rules you use, but if I may ask :

1) When attacked by flak, do I have to roll 3 times for the other bombers in the squadron ?
I mean, I'm attacked, I follow rules as in B17 QoTS, then I have to roll for the other squadron airplanes. Do I have to make this roll 3 times or only one ? (once per Inbound and once for Outbound)

2) What about putting a table with wonded ? If a plane is hit more than a certain amount, it could have a higher chanche of injuries or losses onboard.

3) What about a certain amount of kills for the squadron ? Something based on GAF tables (light/medium/heavy) could help out to determinate how many E/A have been KIA/Probable/Damaged.

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Alan Barrett
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Thanks for your comments. If you head over to the thread on Squadron/Group command, you'll find Jasta6 play-tested these suggestions and made a few mods, then produced a pretty thorough report. At present, feel free to tweak ANYTHING in them: they were a set of guidelines for how to run 18-plane missions, rather than a set of established rules. Enemy planes can be claimed by non-player bombers and chalked up as squadron/group victories. I didn't have SPECIFIC crew wound or aircraft damages for the non-player bombers in the squadron because I didn't want to turn this into a complicated sub-game; I wanted to just give the feel of my bomber being amongst others on the raid! At present, I'm trying the system out still. I'm ditching d20s, I think, and will produce 2xd6 equivalent tables, in the spirit of the original. This was Jasta6's suggestion - and he's right. What I do tend to include is my own system for take-off and assembly of squadron/group (see files elsewhere) and flak on approach to the target (see images - file pending) and the bombing run (file and image available). To me, these add flavour: I get 'American Patrol' or 'In the Mood' on the CD player and I'm back in 1943! I'm having a look at your specific questions and will get back to you.

KOS83 wrote:
It is not online yet I suppose,

anyway I've taken a look to your ideas regarding squadron rules. Despite not being detailed it is much more flexible and easy to use than the standard rules. Playing over 6 or more times the same mission could be boring and tiresome. I have stopped the updates on my squadron command because it was impossible to keep up all the stats and it was too much time consuming.

I like the rules you use, but if I may ask :

1) When attacked by flak, do I have to roll 3 times for the other bombers in the squadron ?
I mean, I'm attacked, I follow rules as in B17 QoTS, then I have to roll for the other squadron airplanes. Do I have to make this roll 3 times or only one ? (once per Inbound and once for Outbound)

2) What about putting a table with wonded ? If a plane is hit more than a certain amount, it could have a higher chanche of injuries or losses onboard.

3) What about a certain amount of kills for the squadron ? Something based on GAF tables (light/medium/heavy) could help out to determinate how many E/A have been KIA/Probable/Damaged.

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Alan Barrett
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The format sheet is uploaded now. Is it worthwhile, or not? I haven't yet populated the sheet with anything concrete.
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Stefano Rebessi
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I think that instead placing deatailed actions and what to roll for it, you can simply make rules that apply to deterimnated conditions.

VERY HARD 20 on d20
HARD 15+ on d20
ABOVE AVERAGE 10+ on d20
AVERAGE 5+ on d20

but I'd propose to use the d6 instead of the d20 because you keep up the same system.

VERY HARD 12 on 2d6
HARD 10+ on 2d6
ABOVE AVERAGE 8+ on 2d6
AVERAGE 6+ on 2d6

All falls down on understanding how actions could be classified instead of giving a description for all possibilities.

If a gunner tries to fly a plane it will be VERY HARD a officer/engineer could be Above Average or Hard.
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Alan Barrett
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I agrre about the d20 stuff. Keeping d6s is better. Your suggestion makes LOADS of sense - the list could go on forever otherwise; you are right! It's not a dissimilar idea to D&D's 'skill tests', really. Some examples from each difficulty 'class' would be very useful, still. You give one here! I'm not sure how a solo player would establish the difficulty of a desired action objectively,but this might actually be a useful resource for any club night with a spare umpire role. Thanks again for your response - Al.

KOS83 wrote:
I think that instead placing deatailed actions and what to roll for it, you can simply make rules that apply to deterimnated conditions.

VERY HARD 20 on d20
HARD 15+ on d20
ABOVE AVERAGE 10+ on d20
AVERAGE 5+ on d20

but I'd propose to use the d6 instead of the d20 because you keep up the same system.

VERY HARD 12 on 2d6
HARD 10+ on 2d6
ABOVE AVERAGE 8+ on 2d6
AVERAGE 6+ on 2d6

All falls down on understanding how actions could be classified instead of giving a description for all possibilities.

If a gunner tries to fly a plane it will be VERY HARD a officer/engineer could be Above Average or Hard.
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Alan Barrett
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Perhaps task or action difficulty levels could be established according to set criteria? For example:

Crewman performs COMPLEX role for which he is likely to be COMPLETELY untrained
= VERY DIFFICULT, UNLIKELY TO SUCCEED

Crewman performs COMPLEX role for which he may have SOME insight
= DIFFICULT

Crewman performs SIMPLE role for which he is likely to be completely untrained
= AVERAGE

Nothing concrete, yet.....But I'll keep thinking.....
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Stefano Rebessi
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One would need some information on how the difficult categories are and then the gamer has to decide what the action he wants to do is more similar to.

The D&D system has in mind dungeoun crawling, meaning that whatever you do, you do it for something while in combat or under stress and if you fail, you get damage. What then actually is done with the abilities rolls are an upgrade made by the players for what is known as "untold common rule on the table".

Despite how good this might be, it leads to no real consequences besides "ops I failed the check". It makes much more sense using a system where if you fail , you have consequences on your actions (failed or with success). But this means that you'd need to make some examples on what these consequences are, making the procedure too complex to be useful for gaming. So I'd keep the thing nice and simple, making some examples on what difficulties represent and then leaving to the gamer the possibility to decide what to do.

B-17 QoTS can be played as a role playing game to a certain extent, but it has not been structured to be it. This leads to some missing mechanics that make the game unplayable as a classic or indie RPG. While I'm writing I think that "Apocalypse World" (by Vincent Baker) system can be easily hacked for a B-17 indie RPG. But this is not the topic to talk about it.
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Stefano Rebessi
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StinkyHarry wrote:
Perhaps task or action difficulty levels could be established according to set criteria? For example:

Crewman performs COMPLEX role for which he is likely to be COMPLETELY untrained
= VERY DIFFICULT, UNLIKELY TO SUCCEED

Crewman performs COMPLEX role for which he may have SOME insight
= DIFFICULT

Crewman performs SIMPLE role for which he is likely to be completely untrained
= AVERAGE

Nothing concrete, yet.....But I'll keep thinking.....


This has MUCH sense, it would be much easier to manage.
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Alan Barrett
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Example difficulty actions could be classified by mission phase, too, and so tabulated.

MISSION PHASE 1 - OUTWARD TO TARGET
Difficulty level.....
Example of this level of difficulty.....

COMBAT
Difficulty level.....
Example of this level of difficulty.....

MISSION PHASE 2 - RETURN FROM TARGET
Difficulty level.....
Example of this level of difficulty.....

LANDING
Difficulty level.....
Example of this level of difficulty.....

That sort of thing. I read your comments with great interest. It's important NOT to turn it into a completely different game, I think.

Grazie mille, Stefano. Penso e non troppo difficile fare qualcosa con questi? Mi dispiace per l'Italiano. Posso lo parlare un po - ma solo un po.
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Stefano Rebessi
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Nessun problema Alan! :) Felice di poter aiutare!

I would not divide the mission in sections. I do think that a mission that went straight into France or in Germany had completely different stress, tension and "special attention" by the Luftwaffe.

I prefere the classification for the crewmember as you wrote before honestly. That would solve the problem, without balancing various mission phases.

BUT

as all things done, they'd need to get tested. Maybe what we think is good, it turns out to be not what we thought about.

We could give a shot to both ideas!
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Alan Barrett
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Yes, we could work something out, I'm sure. (1) it must not be burdensome or time-consuming for the player (2) it must add to the experience of the game and fill a gap (3) it must make historical sense - which means that incredible feats can happen, but they are very rare. It certainly shouldn't be something that comes up trumps on every single mission, that's for sure - ancora, ringrazio per l'aiute! Ciao!
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Alan Barrett
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I'm still thinking about this, just as a reaction to the sheer deadliness of B-17:QotS, really. I must admit, it smacks of 'the saving throw' of other game systems - and the PLAYER has to make some SUBJECTIVE assessment of the category of difficulty of the action he wishes to perform (or have a 'crewman' perform) on his stricken bomber. I'm thinking, I'm thinking.....
 


Task performance or action difficulty levels could be assessed according to set broad criteria – RED, YELLOW, GREEN and then qualitative judgements within these broad categories, to give a specific difficulty category. The same system could be used to allow an aircraft to escape the very worst consequences of a negative event – the minor miracles that DID happen to get a/c home.
For example:

Crewman to attempt COMPLEX action for which he is likely to be COMPLETELY untrained = RED Aircraft dives to put out engine fire = YELLOW
Crewman to attempt COMPLEX action; he may have SOME familiarity or rudimentary ability with it = RED
Crewman to attempt a SIMPLE action for which he is untrained = YELLOW Crewman is required to attempt a SIMPLE action; he may have SOME familiarity or rudimentary ability with it= GREEN
etc.

Another entirely RANDOM method, involving only dice, might be to use one marked Red (2 faces) Yellow (2 faces) and Green (2 faces) and a second normal d6 to establish the exact difficulty category.

These should only be used ONCE per mission - unless experience is rewarded by allowing more chances as the crew gets deeper into the 25?

1-5 missions - none
6-15 missions - one
16-20 missions - two
21-25 missions - three


.....And any help with that thinking would be gratefully received.....:-)

Al
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Alan Barrett
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I've uploaded my latest thoughts and a suggested mode of use for such a system. It's not in the Group Mission pdf (yet) but it is a separate pdf (v2) - Al.
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