Looking at Bombers and Aerial Combat

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 8, 2019 - 5:05pm
I'm pulling this information from my postings on bombs so it will be a bit more coherent... and hopefully encourage feedback.


Joe Cabadas
Comments:

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 23, 2019 - 10:25am
Sargonarhes wrote:
All this makes me wonder with all the tanks, aircraft and powered armor in SF. What if some one wanted to go crazy and add in the larger powered armor things known as mechs, mecha or mobile suits. Yeah, they would be a fire magnet, every one with a big gun would be out there shooting at them. But the idea has gained ground in lots of sci-fi, even Star Wars keeps using the idea of a large walker. 
 

One would need to add some sort of tactical combat rules.

At its core, SF is a role playing game, but with the Starspawn module, they especially enter the realm of the "grand battle."

Also, Mission to Alcazzar gives you vehicle combat.

I think TSR might have been moving that way...


Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 23, 2019 - 10:25am
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 23, 2019 - 3:21pm
Sargonarhes wrote:
All this makes me wonder with all the tanks, aircraft and powered armor in SF. What if some one wanted to go crazy and add in the larger powered armor things known as mechs, mecha or mobile suits. Yeah, they would be a fire magnet, every one with a big gun would be out there shooting at them. But the idea has gained ground in lots of sci-fi, even Star Wars keeps using the idea of a large walker. 
 

For me, right now, I'm just trying to flesh out some pre-existing vehicles in the game. Especially when I start looking at the aircraft. 

I'll mention this again for emphasis, while I am trying to adapt some of the Dawn Patrol diagrams, I do wonder if biplane maneuvers are really the best thing for aircars and jetcopters. I suppose when they are traveling at speed they can do these things, but they can, of course, stop and hover in place and make 360-degree turns.
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 23, 2019 - 4:07pm

Immelmann Turn. This maneuver is a half loop with a roll at the top. It is used to change directions quickly and is handy in a dogfight. When an aircraft performs an Immelmann turn, move the vehicle’s counter to the square immediately behind its starting position and turn it so it faces the opposite direction. This counts as three squares of movement. An aircraft performing an Immelmann turn during combat can climb up to ____ meters or dive up to ____ meters. This turn is named after Max Immelmann, a German ace from World War I.

 

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 23, 2019 - 7:24pm

Climb. A climb maneuver is shown in figure 6 where the climbing aircraft moves four squares in a straight line and then can move as desired. During tailing, the minimum climb is ___ meters. In non-combat situations, the maximum climb is the rate given for the aircraft, and it is not necessary to move four squares in a straight line.

Dive. The aircraft performing a diving maneuver moves four or more squares using any combination of straight flight and 45 degree turns. A craft involved in tailing must dive at least ___ meters. The maximum (controlled) dive is that listed for the aircraft. The dive is not illustrated.


Joe Cabadas

KRingway's picture
KRingway
November 24, 2019 - 7:07am
You could possibly use this type of symbolism on the arrows to denote whether the manouevre is a dive or a climb:


JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 24, 2019 - 11:02am
KRingway wrote:
You could possibly use this type of symbolism on the arrows to denote whether the manouevre is a dive or a climb:

 

Nice! Yes!
Joe Cabadas

KRingway's picture
KRingway
November 24, 2019 - 11:07am
I used a similar system (as a counter) for a homebrew vehicle combat game we developed over many years. We had copters and planes and needed a way to show whether something was in a dive or a climb during a combat round, as it affected other things (e.g. how far away it was in order to fire on things or to be fired at)

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 24, 2019 - 11:31am
KRingway wrote:
I used a similar system (as a counter) for a homebrew vehicle combat game we developed over many years. We had copters and planes and needed a way to show whether something was in a dive or a climb during a combat round, as it affected other things (e.g. how far away it was in order to fire on things or to be fired at)
 

Would you like to share any of your homebrew rules?

I intend to create an article for Frontier Explorer magazine out of these musings and would give writing credit!
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 24, 2019 - 11:32am

Stall. Shown in figure 7, a stall is performed by moving forward one square and counting it as five squares of movement. An aircraft can move out of a stall straight ahead or at a 45 degree angle, though if they have slowed down enough, jetcopters and aircars can perform a 180-degree pivot.

An aircraft can only perform one stall per turn. Stalling is a reversal maneuver. An aircraft that uses a stall during tailing can climb up to ___ meters.


Joe Cabadas

KRingway's picture
KRingway
November 24, 2019 - 3:09pm
JCab747 wrote:
Would you like to share any of your homebrew rules?

I intend to create an article for Frontier Explorer magazine out of these musings and would give writing credit!

Alas, as the rules I'd lovingly copied down in the late 80s have changed hands several times within our group since then, there is a cruical gap of 25% of the material. Ironically I only remembered the symbols I posted as they was actually something I'd not written down but still had a mental picture! I cover it in a little detail in a blog post here.

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 24, 2019 - 3:42pm
KRingway wrote:
JCab747 wrote:
Would you like to share any of your homebrew rules?

I intend to create an article for Frontier Explorer magazine out of these musings and would give writing credit!

Alas, as the rules I'd lovingly copied down in the late 80s have changed hands several times within our group since then, there is a cruical gap of 25% of the material. Ironically I only remembered the symbols I posted as they was actually something I'd not written down but still had a mental picture! I cover it in a little detail in a blog post here.
 

Roger.
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 24, 2019 - 9:06pm

Loop. A loop is performed by placing the aircraft counter one, two or three squares behind its starting position without changing its facing (see figures 8 and 9). Moving through a one-square loop counts as four squares of movement. A two-square loop counts as six squares, while a three-square loop counts as eight.

An aircraft can turn 45-degrees  at the end of the loop. Top speed can be used if the aircraft does not turn during the movement. Loops are reversal maneuvers. If a looping craft is being tailed, the tailing aircraft must perform a loop of the same size or larger than the target aircraft’s loop or it will be reversed (see Tailing). During tailing, the maximum climb and dive in a loop is ___ meters.

An aircraft can make only one loop per turn.

Joe Cabadas

KRingway's picture
KRingway
November 24, 2019 - 9:01pm
For loops, you'd have to be at an initial speed of X in order to complete one.

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 24, 2019 - 9:06pm
KRingway wrote:
For loops, you'd have to be at an initial speed of X in order to complete one.
 

Yes, that is a good point... especially for jetcopters. 
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 24, 2019 - 9:08pm
And here is figure 9.


Joe Cabadas

KRingway's picture
KRingway
November 25, 2019 - 1:27am
JCab747 wrote:
KRingway wrote:
For loops, you'd have to be at an initial speed of X in order to complete one.
 

Yes, that is a good point... especially for jetcopters. 


As jetcopters aren't 100% reliant on their rotors for the loop, they really only face the same minimum speed requirement as the aircar, etc.

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 25, 2019 - 8:32am
JCab747 wrote:

Aerial Combat Rule Ideas

1 square = 50 meters  (updated 11/25/2019)

Simple maneuvers include moving straight, banking left or banking right, which are shown in Figures 1 and 2. An aircraft performing one of these maneuvers normally moves at least three squares – though jetcopters,aircars and air transports can slow and hover in place. After moving three squares, the pilot may continue the maneuver or resume normal movement.

The arrows in the maneuver diagram show the directions the aircraft can point when it pulls out of the maneuver. The aircraft using these maneuvers during tailing can climb or dive 50 meters. At other times, the maximum climb or dive rates are _____.  

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 25, 2019 - 1:56pm

Split-S, Tail Spin. The split-S and tail spin are diving maneuvers that can be performed by aircars, glijets and fixed-wing aircraft. Jetcopters cannot perform these actions.

Both maneuvers are made by moving forward one square and then turning out in any direction. See Figure 10. The aircraft dives almost vertically for several hundred meters before pulling out and resuming normal movement. Count each full 50 meters dived as one square of movement. Then add the diving bonus squares.

The difference between the two maneuvers is that the divingbonus from the tail spin is only half the usual diving bonus. Add only one bonus square for each full 100 meters dived in a tail spin. An aircraft doing atail spin or a split-S must dive at least 250 meters. It can lose more altitude by diving farther during the maneuver or by making a normal dive after the maneuver.

Tail spins in this case are a controlled maneuver as opposed to a flat spin, where an aircraft is falling almost horizontally.  


Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 25, 2019 - 5:41pm

Barrel Roll. This maneuver can be conducted by jetcopters and aircars. Figure 11 shows what happens when an aircraft only performs one barrel roll. However, the craft can do more than one roll in a single barrel roll maneuver if the rolls are continues and are in the same direction, as shown in Figure 12.

Each roll counts as two squares of movement. An aircraft can turn 45-degrees to the right or left in the square where the maneuver is completed. The maximum climb or dive allowed in a barrel roll during tailing is 50 meters.


Joe Cabadas

KRingway's picture
KRingway
November 25, 2019 - 6:35pm
I think copters with co-axial rotors can do tail spins. Not 100% sure though. The design on the counter shows a conventional layout.

I'd also argue that it might be possible to rule that pilots above a certain level can perform manouevres within half the distance normally required. Videos such as this one of a Ka-26 with an experienced pilot at the controls shows what sort of things are possible Foot in mouth

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 25, 2019 - 8:05pm
KRingway wrote:
I think copters with co-axial rotors can do tail spins. Not 100% sure though. The design on the counter shows a conventional layout.

I'd also argue that it might be possible to rule that pilots above a certain level can perform manouevres within half the distance normally required. Videos such as this one of a Ka-26 with an experienced pilot at the controls shows what sort of things are possible Foot in mouth
 

I did try to look up info on helicopters and tail spins... only got results for tail rotor failures...

And, yes, I imagine with a successful skill role... whatever skill that might be... that will be coming up as a topic... one could shorten the distance required for a maneuver.
Joe Cabadas

jedion357's picture
jedion357
November 25, 2019 - 8:25pm
JCab747 wrote:

And, yes, I imagine with a successful skill role... whatever skill that might be... that will be coming up as a topic... one could shorten the distance required for a maneuver.


I've had a theory about this that has been forming in my brain. While back I took a job delivering papers at night in Harpswell and the Islands. Nature of the beast with this job is faster you do it more money you make by the hour and you want to try to finish before the deer and the sherrif begin to move around so I'd drive as fast as I could despite the twisty up and down hills of that town. My Chevy always felt like it wanted to say, "Hey, hey, hey, you might want to slow down for safety." Then I had a rental of a Hyundai and I would drive that car as fast as I could and it felt like the car wanted to say, "Is that all you got, cause I got more." (long story short- my next car is going to be a hyundai and I'm going to get more tickets)

So here is my theory, the vehicle's performance is the vehicle's performance and the skill roll is about nerve and whether you can actually drive at the very edge of that vehicle's performance. Alternately you could look at the skill check to exceed a vehicle's performance numbers in a manuever is really that the vehicle's performance numbers are what they are for average operators and the highly skilled getting more out of the vehicle didn't really do that but were able to drive closer to the vehicles true performance limit.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 25, 2019 - 9:36pm
jedion357 wrote:
JCab747 wrote:

And, yes, I imagine with a successful skill role... whatever skill that might be... that will be coming up as a topic... one could shorten the distance required for a maneuver.


I've had a theory about this that has been forming in my brain. While back I took a job delivering papers at night in Harpswell and the Islands. Nature of the beast with this job is faster you do it more money you make by the hour and you want to try to finish before the deer and the sherrif begin to move around so I'd drive as fast as I could despite the twisty up and down hills of that town. My Chevy always felt like it wanted to say, "Hey, hey, hey, you might want to slow down for safety." Then I had a rental of a Hyundai and I would drive that car as fast as I could and it felt like the car wanted to say, "Is that all you got, cause I got more." (long story short- my next car is going to be a hyundai and I'm going to get more tickets)

So here is my theory, the vehicle's performance is the vehicle's performance and the skill roll is about nerve and whether you can actually drive at the very edge of that vehicle's performance. Alternately you could look at the skill check to exceed a vehicle's performance numbers in a manuever is really that the vehicle's performance numbers are what they are for average operators and the highly skilled getting more out of the vehicle didn't really do that but were able to drive closer to the vehicles true performance limit.
 

Yes, I agree with you about the vehicle performance item. The skill check is to take it to the very edge... and if you fail, then you go over that edge.


Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 25, 2019 - 9:58pm
And here is figure 12.

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 25, 2019 - 10:03pm
KRingway wrote:
I think copters with co-axial rotors can do tail spins. Not 100% sure though. The design on the counter shows a conventional layout.

I'd also argue that it might be possible to rule that pilots above a certain level can perform manouevres within half the distance normally required. Videos such as this one of a Ka-26 with an experienced pilot at the controls shows what sort of things are possible Foot in mouth
 

I've been looking at the video and see what you mean... Now that looks like a jetcopter!
Joe Cabadas

KRingway's picture
KRingway
November 26, 2019 - 12:30am
The Ka-26 is a very cool design - but those jet-like pods house radial engines Wink But if it was running on a parabattery, a similar design could use the pods as jets.

A jetcopter with co-axial rotors and 3D thrust vectoring would possibly be a bit more manoueverable than a jetcopter with a standard tail rotor.

I'm assuming that aircars use some element of 3D thrust vectoring, although it's not a given.

KRingway's picture
KRingway
November 26, 2019 - 12:43am
jedion357 wrote:
So here is my theory, the vehicle's performance is the vehicle's performance and the skill roll is about nerve and whether you can actually drive at the very edge of that vehicle's performance. Alternately you could look at the skill check to exceed a vehicle's performance numbers in a manuever is really that the vehicle's performance numbers are what they are for average operators and the highly skilled getting more out of the vehicle didn't really do that but were able to drive closer to the vehicles true performance limit.


IIRC, in our games the skill itself meant that you could do the actual thing and for regular driving/piloting you wouldn't need to roll. You'd only need to roll if you were doing something outside the normal remit of what could be called 'driving/piloting'. For example, I called for a roll when a player was in an aircar trying to knock over an NPC who was trying to run away. The PC wasn't trying to kill the NPC, so some delicate handling was required despite it being a desperate measure. Similarly, both sides had to do skill rolls a little earlier in the game as the PC in an aircar and NPCs on hover bikes were involved in a chase (the NPCs were baddies chasing a goody NPC in a ground car, whilst themselves all being chased by a PC in an aircar).

jedion357's picture
jedion357
November 26, 2019 - 7:05am
early morning, high speed, back road driving in Harpswell and the Islands, dodging critters and not crashing after killing a deer was all skill checks all the time.

I quickly knew that it wasn't the job for me but I had signed a contract that if I did not stay for 30 days my first pay check was forfit. I stayed 30 days exactly.

From that real world experience and from playing Car Wars I would propose that something like Car Wars' reaction roll is made- at beginning of any combat all drivers roll their reaction score anyone getting a 5 or 6 got a +1 or a +2 to manuevers for that game. In Star Frontiers an ability check or skill check determines how in the zone the vehicle operator and it applies to everything in this combat/drive/encounter. just spit balling on that. a really good roll means that the driver is in the zone and automatically takes the vehicle to the edge and a little beyond its published performance values with no further skill checks but will make checks for serious manuevers, collisions, or damage to vehicle.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

KRingway's picture
KRingway
November 26, 2019 - 7:28am
I kept it simple: the player told me what they wanted to do and was asked to make a skill roll if it sounded like he wanted to do something other than regular driving. I wanted to keep the situation fluid in terms of role-playing so that the tension and tempo wasn't lost.