Fighter squadron , Any advice on running one? in Rules & Errata
Myridian Dec 24 2018, 01:26 Group: Heroes, Level 20 Quote Post
Has anyone run a game where everyone is a fighter pilot in the same squadron? I'm think of a pick up game scenario where the Heroes are fighter pilots on a capital patrol ship. They would be sent in system ahead of the main ship to scout , investigate and generally get into trouble.
I was wondering if anyone might have run something similar and have any advice on the ship combat. It looks to be 5 players, and I'm wracking my brain to come up with cool tactics for the enemies to use and for the players to try. I'm thinking the assisting another character rules would be useful in space dogfights.
Any advice/comments are welcome.
SanChristo Dec 24 2018, 01:59 Group: Heroes, Level 11 Quote Post
That sounds really awesome. I haven't the foggiest, but I'm excited to hear other people's answers.

Did you happen to read the Admiral Thrawn trilogy?
cobalt_phoenix Dec 24 2018, 03:16 Group: Heroes, Beyond Level 20 Quote Post
I would direct you to the Wing Commander game and novel franchise. That focuses on a fighters and should give you some good ideas.

You may also want to look at historical combat, especially the Pacific campaign of WWII. That is where most of this is sort of stuff is derived from, anyway.
Guardian Dec 24 2018, 05:20 Group: Heroes, WarHulk AI Quote Post
Thrawn's pretty useless for snubfighters. You'd instead need the X-Wing series by Stackpole and Allston if you're trying to replicate Star Wars. Or see if Space Above and Beyond is available on your streaming service of choice.

At a stretch, maybe Black Sheep Squadron.
SanChristo Dec 24 2018, 11:32 Group: Heroes, Level 11 Quote Post
Author (Guardian @ Dec 24 2018, 05:20)
Thrawn's pretty useless for snubfighters.

The reason I bring it up is the opening scene (I think, I read it when it came out and I was twelve). But my memory of it is that Thrawn's able to use his understanding of a species art to understand their psychology and able to use his understanding of their psychology to pick the perfect attack formation to obliterate one of their squadron's.

To Myridian's big question, it seems like picking appropriate attack formations could be a cool component of the game.
Myridian Dec 24 2018, 14:13 Group: Heroes, Level 20 Quote Post
Psychology to assist tactics, obvious but I hadn't thought about that, and Culture would be a good assist. I have to decide what to give them in the mission briefings and what to let them discover on their own. Good ideas guys, thanks.

The internets give a good breakdown of the planes in a squadron, I'm looking at the heroes being a "flight" and having SCMs round out the squadron. Also have another squadron as rivals for some tension and roleplaying when not on missions.

I plan on the enemy starting out a little more advanced than the heroes, either because they are more advanced than humanity, or the heroes have outdated ships

I'm thinking (too much StarCraft) that their onboard computer systems would get upgrades as they complete missions giving bonuses to tactics, vehicle ops and such. Maybe eventually mandated cyber interfaces. Might have the bad guys with the cyber and the sci-tecs adapt them from recovered bodies, maybe a ghost in the machine for one of the heroes, maybe only one gets the implant at first and they have to mobilize before it's fully tested. I'm thinking of testing it in an asteroid field with a hidden enemy outpost and laser turrets on random asteroids.

Then, at the end of a mission I can EMP them and take the newer system out and force them to fly by the seat of their pants. Might save that in case they want to play more and get to a higher rank in Vehicle Ops.

I haven't read the Thrawn books, Wing commander and X-wing sound good, and I'm old enough to have watched Black Sheep Squadron when I was young.

Any recommended ship size for the Patrol ship? it needs to be general purpose/ jack of all trades, I'm at work and don't have Warships handy

Get together is scheduled for March 2nd and 3rd and we generally go for long sessions per day Getting together Friday night for drinking and catching up/ BSing so we should get a lot of good playing in. I really want this to go well and have all my bases covered. I'm usually a sandbox GM but want a little more structure for this. Any Character ideas for roleplaying would also be appreciated

Thanks again guys!.
DrShocter Dec 24 2018, 15:42 Group: Heroes, Level 8 Quote Post
Oooooooh, this is gold. I also wants to do this. I understand the tension between making a consistent and rewarding sandbox world, and crafting a plot structure that keeps the pace up for an evening game.

I hope this helps!

If the players are an air wing embarked on the larger ship, using a different chain of command that’s the ship’s force, maybe an early event can place the players in a direct relationship with an ambivalent ship command structure. Say the flight control center gets hit by a missile and wipes out the wing’s command structure. The PCs May then have to deal directly with the administration and culture of the fleet.

You can have an aristocratic Navy Captain, a going go marine, a no nonsense engineer, and a politically savvy XO with different motivations all competing for limited resources/ operating with different methodology on the edge of friendly space. Skills could include Interaction, Administration, Culture- Ettiquette, Deception. There could be some extra legal options for attaining intelligence, space smugglers who respond to a mix of Street Wise and a judicious application of Law.

Just some thoughts while hanging out on Christmas Eve. I think you have an excellent idea for a game! Be prepared to have your ideas ripped off by my group!!!
DrShocter Dec 24 2018, 16:01 Group: Heroes, Level 8 Quote Post
And that is a “gung ho” Marine.
Myridian Dec 24 2018, 16:15 Group: Heroes, Level 20 Quote Post
Author
DrShocter,Dec 24 2018, 15:42] direct relationship with an ambivalent ship command structure. Say the flight control center gets hit by a missile and wipes out the wing’s command structure. The PCs May then have to deal directly with the administration and culture of the fleet.


oooh, or sabotage, maybe an assassin in the ranks? maybe a hidden spy cell?

Thanks for the CSM ideas, I get stuck on Anime cliches. Not that that's bad, The players put their own spin on things and having a hook helps. I want the onboard rivals to be like in Pacific Rim, the arsehole rival was a jerk, but still on the side of the goodguys.
I'll probably have friendly/respected SCMs for the command staff, then killl some of them off and bring in the annoying ones, that way the heroes have an investment in the original command , always good if they have an investment in the SCMs. Maybe one they like is in a coma in medlab fighting for his life.
Ah, so many tropes...


This post has been edited by Myridian on Dec 24 2018, 16:19
cobalt_phoenix Dec 24 2018, 18:15 Group: Heroes, Beyond Level 20 Quote Post
Author
Any recommended ship size for the Patrol ship? it needs to be general purpose/ jack of all trades, I'm at work and don't have Warships handy


If you are wanting to use Warships, I would recommend a heavy ship hull. Perhaps a battle cruiser (if it was a dedicated military design) or one of the heavy merchant hulls to give it a feel of "wartime rush job" (a quick conversion or perhaps a specifically designed fast build; see the British Light Fleet Carriers for inspiration).

However, I would recommend you use GMG/Starships over Warships, or even just a hybrid of the two. The reason is that fighters generally suck in Warships (they are too small to have speed, sensors, protection, and offensive power, making you focus on one or maybe two while letting the rest fall by the way-side). Home-made systems can help with that, but it still is far from ideal. GMG/Starships, though, focuses on such small ships, letting the fighters be fast, powerful, and effective.

The hybrid version would vary, but I would just set up the larger vessels as having weapons of greater power that are too slow to hit the fighters (ever try to target a gnat with a bazooka?) but with a battery of point-defense weapons, including PDG's (which are in the GMG) and lighter weapons such as plasma or mass cannons. After that, it is just mostly dictating the size of the ships. I would make the light ships 3 to 4 times larger than a corvette (180-240 durability), medium ships 5 to 7 times as big (300-420 durability), heavy ships 9-12 times bigger (540-720), super-heavy 15-20 times larger (900-1200 durability), and ultra-heavy (fortress ships) 30 times larger (1800+ durability).

That should give them a target of how much damage the ships can take, and you can introduce a weapon type (such as a heavy missile or heavy torpedo) that can actually cause them serious damage.


Author
The internets give a good breakdown of the planes in a squadron, I'm looking at the heroes being a "flight" and having SCMs round out the squadron. Also have another squadron as rivals for some tension and roleplaying when not on missions.


Can I make a recommendation for you, especially if you want to use Warships?

I would make them a flight of a drone squadron. Now just hear me out.

So here is the scheme. This is a mixed flight, consisting of 5 small craft. The primary is a 30 HP fighter/drone director. It has a full crew of 5 (pilot, system operator, gunner, and 2 drone operators). It has a good array of weapons and sensors, and includes a stealth system. The remaining 4 craft are either fighters or strike fighters, all drones, controlled by the drone operators using laser transceivers. Optionally, you can swap out one either the gunner or system operator for another drone operator, increasing the number of drones by two.

At 30 HP, the ship is large enough to have good engines, sensors, and weapons (being almost a match for one or two fighters on its own), and is only just a little bit less maneuverable. Scout hulls are also small enough for a carrier to carry at least a squadron of 3 or 4 of them in hangers while letting their drones sit outside on clamps. It also gives you someplace to keep the players safe when compared to a fighter. The drone operators can, in reality, help to run the ship's systems when not flying drones. You can also have them swap out between drone operators, so no one feels left out.

Additionally, it does let you stay with that set up you mentioned concerning the fighter differences. The players could have drones focused on AI control, where the heroes are more telling it to do an action, while the enemy could be using cyber-links to directly command the drones along with AI, allowing the enemy fighters to be more versatile (they operate like a human pilot is on the stick, rather than an AI with no imagination). This also lets the heroes get their butts kicked without actually having pilots being turned into vapor from super-powerful space weapons.
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