Thursday, June 21, 2012

They're Going To Make A Big Star Outta Me

As noted in the post "Flight School," 5150 Fringe Space will ultimately include 3 different movement systems. These are tentatively called:
1) Flight Simulation Movement (as seen in Flight School and several playtests)
2) Standard Vector Movement (heavily simplified but same basic ideas)
3) Cinematic Movement

Today I wrote the Cinematic Movement and tested it.

Cinematic Movement is nothing new or particularly innovative (neither is Standard Vector Movement, to be honest-- its pretty straight forward vector movement like seen in most games that include  vector movement. It is the Flight Simulation Movement, with its various types of movement, that is most unique IMO). This is a good thing; it plays like someone would expect if they've ever seen Star Wars or played Battlefleet Gothic or similar games.

The goal of having these different movement systems is to reflect two variables. One, whether the player wants a setting where movement is cinematic or more realistic (Cinematic vs. Vector). Two, whether the player likes to focus a bit more on movement or to focus more on the other aspects of space combat (Standard Vector vs. Flight Simulation).

That said, everything else is kept the same-- activation, shooting, and non-movement actions are all identical. The purpose of this playtest was to see if everything translated, keeping the feel of Fringe Space while modifying the rules to better reflect a particular vision of the future (or the distant past, in this case).

There are a few places where some fundamentals outside of movement within an encounter have changed for different movement systems. In both vector movement systems, fuel is consumed pretty frequently. To better meet the expectations of a Cinematic game, fuel is only used in campaign turns and by Turboboosts in the cinematic movement system.

Here we have the Millenium Falcon (a fairly standard corvette with 2 Medium Cannons) facing off against two X Wings (Space Superiority Fighter, a fairly standard fighter with light armor and two light cannons) and a Y Wing (Heavy Fighter that is low on mobility and dogfighting ability but has fair armor and a Light Laser + 2 Missiles).

Why the odd match? These aren't Rebels, they're bounty hunters sent by Jabba who happen to have Rebel equipment. (Just play the game.)

The ships start off just at the edge of weapon range... the Millennium Falcon senses the fighters first, but its shots all miss and have no effect.

The fighters use Turboboost to zoom to the Millennium Falcon to initiate a Dogfight. The Millennium Falcon keeps up the fire on the X Wings, but the X Wings take Evasive Maneuvers and close on the Falcon unscathed. The Y Wing performs a Sensor Targeting action to steady its aim, and then releases its payload on the Falcon but the Falcon is able to dodge, as well, and the Laser fails to penetrate.

The X Wings initiate a dogfight. One of the X Wings is heavily damaged and the pilot is knocked out of the fight. This causes the other X Wing to be knocked, causing some negative effects next turn.

Dogfight begins.

Han Solo does some great piloting and is able to keep the smaller, more nimble X Wing from getting a good shot.

However, the X Wing is able to stay out of Chewie's fire as well.

Looks like neither of them is going to come out on top...

The next turn, the Millenium Falcon has a bad activation roll and chooses to drift forward-- better to use the one action for repairs or electronic warfare. The X Wing slows down and nearly turns on a dime to hit the Falcon from behind. The Y Wing zig-zags around the Falcon to hit it from the side.

The X Wing, due to the Knock from last turn, is unable to initiate its own dogfight, but can participate in the dogfight initiated by the Y Wing (at -2d6). The Millennium Falcon fails to successfully shoot down its pursuers as they close in.

Unfortunately for our heroes, Han is not very good at 5150 Wing Leader, and doesn't do too well on his dogfight rolls.

The Y Wing and X Wing poor accurate fire onto the Falcon's systems. Both Han and Chewie are knocked out as their ship is shaken by the torrent of fire. The engine is damaged, the computers are offline. The ship is Severely Damaged. Surely, our heroes will be captured and taken to Jabba... but, at least so far, Jabba has been forgiving... 

Conclusion: The game works well. Its interesting that the same stats, interpreted in different ways, still result in a playable system that actually felt more or less the same (excepting fuel and vector movement). Hopefully this will be good news for people who like the scale and style of Fringe Space but prefer cinematic movement.

The game does play pretty differently, though. In similar play tests under the Flight Simulation rules, the Millenium Falcon usually wins, or at least it is much closer in either direction. I think this is because normally the Antimatter Drives would have taken one more turn to reach the Millenium Falcon (in which the Falcon could have fired on the fighters) and then they would have just had one turn of passing Dogfighting before they had to spend a turn or two trying to turn around with conventional engines.

This effectively means that small maneuverable ships are a bit more effective in Cinematic play than in Flight Sim. That is a good thing, as it fits the Cinematic feel, though I did not expect it at first.

Of course, the good guys usually win in Cinema. It should be noted that I made all the sides have equally elite crews (5s for all crew stats). In "Real" Star Wars, Han Solo and Chewie are much better than some two bit bounty hunters, so they might have won. I did also roll poorly, and did not use any Star Advantages.

A batrep using the Standard Vector Movement will be posted later tonight or tomorrow. I'm going a bit bigger for that game... 61 Hull Points per side. This game had 3. Should be interesting... for me, the big reason to use the Standard Vector Movement is if you want to play a larger (still smaller than Star Navy) combat with several battleships and escort squads to a side, possibly with some of the more detailed special rules (AI ships, for example...) while keeping the game time down and the brain power required at a nice level. Of course, what is a big battle for me might be a MASSIVE battle for someone who's never played a space combat game, so Standard Vector Movement might be their go to even for one on one combats.

1 comment:

  1. Made a mistake in the batrep... the Falcon's guns are actually turret mounted. They just failed to hit in response to the second dogfight. Adjusted the batrep to reflect the facts,