Vehicle Damage

jedion357's picture
jedion357
January 7, 2013 - 5:43am
I've not been a fan of the vehicle damage system, perhaps a legacy of playing way too much Car Wars as you can never seem to shoot up a vehicle with weapons that really ought to do so.

I've thought about revamps of it that many of which were just added levels of complication.

the big problem is that you roll 2d10 (average result is 10) and add the number of dice of damage (wich is usually low unless a laser set to max) and hope you get 20 and over which is a steep hill to climb  especially if shooting at a explorer which is -2 to this number.

looking at the rule as written a simple fix occured to me: just roll the damage. Start with the 2d10 plus roll the dice of damage not add the total dice of damage and consult the table. This would be for civilian vehicles that would not be expected to take any abuse but for something expected to be shot at like a corporate security explorer then go with the old way thats printed in the rules.

Its quick, its simple and makes vehicle combat less a little bit more exciting.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!
Comments:

jedion357's picture
jedion357
January 7, 2013 - 6:03am
Naturally enough I wont be happy without greater levels of complication so: I would propose some new damage tables actually. One damage table for inertia, gyrojet type munitions and another table for beam munitions

beam weapons might have an effect like shorting out the vehciles electrical system but inertial weapons might have an effect like allowing damage to penetrate and randomly hit occupants or parabattery or cargo.

The car wars rules for blow through damage that penetrates a vehicle were adequate IMO, which simply requires a vehicle sheet with the Parabatery and all occupants and cargo marked on it. Damage  coming front to back or back to front simply hit what was in its way first then penetrated deeper if two things were side by side then roll randomly to see which was hit. If damage came from the side then roll randomly to see what was hit if multiple things along the side the damage comes from.

I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

rattraveller's picture
rattraveller
January 7, 2013 - 3:13pm
I have about twenty Car Wars books so am familiar with the system. Works pretty well if you redo the scale and work out the movement. Go range of weapons there too.
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

jedion357's picture
jedion357
January 7, 2013 - 6:32pm
I was just thinking to tweak the Sf system as the rules as writen make it pretty tough to damage a vehicle which is, IMO, frustrating if you are a player shooting at a vehicle or probably not so frustrating if you are a PC riding in a vehicles. In rereading them it suddenly occured to me that just rolling the dice instead of adding them to the 2d10 would generate a better vehcile combat experience in SF as is.

But you are right borrowing a number of features from Car Wars would good. The focus of SF is vastly different then Car Wars but I would say we could introduce the methods of determining where damage goes
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
January 7, 2013 - 7:20pm
Structure Points.

pp.24-25 of the AD Expanded book, the 2d10 damage table is geared more to system breakdowns as a result of combat damage. I treat "no damage" rolls as SP damage, anything else is SP plus what ever system the table determines to fail.
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

jedion357's picture
jedion357
January 7, 2013 - 9:05pm
Shadow Shack wrote:
Structure Points.

pp.24-25 of the AD Expanded book, the 2d10 damage table is geared more to system breakdowns as a result of combat damage. I treat "no damage" rolls as SP damage, anything else is SP plus what ever system the table determines to fail.


I noticed that about the table that it reflected more of a system fail and handling fail. I'll have to do a reread of the whole vehicle combat system. Still I think there is something missing from the system. I always assumed that the Vehicle Damage Table was how you damaged a vehicle and the only way to hurt an occupant was to specifically target them which carries a -10 to -20 penalty plus range penalty as well as a penalty if you are riding in a vehicle. So hide speed chase with guns blazing is probably contra indicated for level 1-2 characters.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
January 7, 2013 - 10:20pm
Yep, it's easier --- or should I say less difficult --- to hit the vehicle than the occupants.

And if the damage results in a crash, the occupants get hurt.

Our group always enjoyed the "bump" maneuver (canon SF equivilent of the police PIT maneuver) when their shots missed too frequently. We quickly learned it pays to have a tech boasting the highest DEX driving. ;)
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

AtomikDyce's picture
AtomikDyce
January 2, 2014 - 11:33am
I'm down with Shadow's idea. That actually makes a lot of sense and is very playable.

I just did another run through Alcazzar and renamed the explorer as "Abrams Tank"

Abub's picture
Abub
January 2, 2014 - 6:14pm
FYI the average of 2d10 is 11

you can find the average from any die group by adding exactly the halfway point of a die including the half point.  So a d6 has a midpoint of 3.5.  So the average of 5d6 is 16.5 which you can round up or down... but if it was 6d6 the average is 21.


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Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
January 3, 2014 - 8:28am
I like simple... but it is easier in RL to hit a large object versus a small object, and even a large object if moving can out maneuver a small moving object if the operator of the bigger object is: 

situationally aware
dex is good (good reflex reactions)
training & intuition (experienced)
can either speed-up to avoid other object or can slow or stop in time to avoid the other object
and/or can put their large object in another location to avoid the smaller moving object

I can say this with a fair amount of confidence because I spend typically 8 hours a day 5 days a week dodging people trying their damnedest to drive, cycle, and run into me a very big large target. They are only successful if I am completely stopped and can not move. I am usually able to out skill them in RL even if attempts are on purpose and they are highly motivated to hit me... suicide attempts and insurance fraud for instance. 

So in my opinion hitting a moving object can be hard, real hard if the moving object does not want to be hit.
"Zoinks!"

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
January 3, 2014 - 9:21pm
Tchklinxa wrote:
and even a large object if moving can out maneuver a small moving object if the operator of the bigger object is: 

situationally aware
dex is good (good reflex reactions)
training & intuition (experienced)
can either speed-up to avoid other object or can slow or stop in time to avoid the other object
and/or can put their large object in another location to avoid the smaller moving object

Ever seen a motorcycle race a dump truck on a closed circuit course? The best driver in the dump truck is still going to get lapped by even a semi-competent motorcyclist.
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
January 4, 2014 - 12:04am
Yes, in a race it will happen that the faster vehicle should win, but I know from experience that fast vehicles can be bested in chase scenarios. 

If a driver knows they are being chased/followed then they can try and get away, this will include unexpected maneuvers which is different from them going in a circle or a straight speed run or racing on a agreed upon route. Racing done properly involves highly skilled techniques in which all drivers have learned. Stunt driving and police chase driving are also unique skills. 

If the person being chased is not prone to panic they can think out strategies for loosing the other vehicle based on what their vehicle can do better and put their skills to best use. 

A vehicle with a low center of gravity is better at fast turns for instance then a faster vehicle with a higher center of gravity. Thus if the vehicle with the low center of gravity can use that to their advantage they can make turns the following vehicle can't, it is an edge that saved my life once.

If the vehicle being followed is not suppose to know they are being followed because the following vehicle is in a blind spot but the driver of the followed vehicle saw the stalking vehicle get into position of the blind spot, then the followed driver can anticipate possible actions of the driver hiding in the blind spot. This is also an edge.  




"Zoinks!"

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
January 4, 2014 - 11:56am
Tchklinxa wrote:
Yes, in a race it will happen that the faster vehicle should win, but I know from experience that fast vehicles can be bested in chase scenarios. 

Speed and power has nothing to do with it, a small lightweight sub-30HP bike will still be far more nimble and maneuverable, and can beat down much "faster" & "powerful" bikes in the curves. Every once in a while you discover an outfit who realizes that aspect...case in point the DC police department uses the miniscule 250 Honda Rebel as a traffic patrol bike in the downtown area because it is far easier to toss around through the heavy traffic than the much faster and powerful Harleys that most departments use.

Simple fact is with a wide straight stretch or road a lot of power will get you far, but when tight maneuvers are required that power can actually cause more problems than you're trying to resolve if you don't have the maneuverability and nimbleness required to navigate them.
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
January 4, 2014 - 12:33pm
I understand that, but I see people all day long rely on being nimble, problem is they suck at driving/riding, and everyone else has to do all sorts of maneuvers to avoid killing them. They only survive because everyone else is compensating for them not because they have skills or a superior vehicle.

:) I get Good Skills + Maneuverabillity = Win. I know it has saved my life. I have been chased at high speed for miles in RL the bad guys started by trying to police clip me with their picj-up off an over pass! Had they succeed I would have plumeted over the edge. My vehicle could turn better and I had been taught some extreme driving techniques. That is why I am alive today.

:) 
 

"Zoinks!"

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
January 4, 2014 - 3:12pm
Tchklinxa wrote:
I understand that, but I see people all day long rely on ABS & traction control, problem is they suck at driving/riding, 

Fixed that for ya. Wink

And you know it's true, what with the advent of auto-parallel park and auto-collision avoidance features in the newest cars to further the gap between vehicles and (lacking) operator skills.

Simple fact is vehicles are evolving while mankind is devolving. Robotic cars aren't too far off, we already had one bill that was signed by the governor to further that cuase.
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

rattraveller's picture
rattraveller
January 4, 2014 - 4:54pm
From what I understand robotic or at least computer control cars can be built today. Which is the problem. Seems they would need to rebuild the roads to have sensors and controls and wifi to communicate with the cars. The cost of rebuilding roads is blocking the progress of the cars.

Sorta like the alternate fuel vehicles: hydrogen, propane, methane. They can build them but fueling stations are few and far between right now.
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
January 4, 2014 - 5:32pm
http://www.inquisitr.com/195435/robot-cars-approved-for-nevada-roads/
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

jedion357's picture
jedion357
January 5, 2014 - 6:18am


The most interesting statement in that news story is that owners will be able to "operate their cars without being physically present"

Now just think about the human condition or its sin nature if you will and imagine how that feature will be used.

"It was me, I was in a board meeting 300 miles away. Someone must have hacked my car and used it to kill my ex in order to frame me."

Or the stalker that outfits the car with video and uses it to stalk someone.

Or transport of contraband and so on.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

rattraveller's picture
rattraveller
January 5, 2014 - 6:48am
Exactly Shadow. Neveda has approved the cars but that article is almost a year old and there doesn't seem to be a flood of robot cars on the market.
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
January 5, 2014 - 8:07am
Just like the epic failure known as the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act signed into law back in 2011, I never said it was implemented...only approved. Sealed
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
January 5, 2014 - 12:24pm
Robot Cars... yep they will get misused, there is one lady on the road we all try and look for and avoid, how in the hell she still has a license or insurance baffles us... she now owns a car with all the gizmo's so it can park it's self, tells her if too close to other cars etc because she totaled so many cars trying to park! We also have watched her hit cars trying to drive... menace is the word.
"Zoinks!"

Abub's picture
Abub
January 13, 2014 - 7:09pm
there is a reason Robots are not allowed into the Creature Cantino.
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Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
January 13, 2014 - 8:19pm
And the reason is "We don't serve their kind here!"

Mostly, I figure, because they're incapable of drinking.
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

jedion357's picture
jedion357
January 14, 2014 - 6:10am
LOL
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Abub's picture
Abub
January 14, 2014 - 8:58am
The Robots in Ice Pirates could puke so maybe they drink!
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JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 5, 2016 - 2:08pm
I've been working on some weapons charts, taking the Zebs weapons and converting them to Alpha Dawn statistics, along with gathering various laser, projectile, gyrojet, etc. weapons from Dragon, Star Frontiersman and Frontier Explorer articles.

I've also been looking at the Dragon story "Here Comes the Cavalry," which offers a few other vehicle combat rules.

So, besides what was mentioned in this discussion, has anyone done any revised vehicle combat rules and play tested them? Would they include the info from the various magazines?

 
Joe Cabadas

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
November 6, 2016 - 12:36am
http://www.starfrontiers.us/node/1767

Vehicle Combat
Success Rate: +5% to hit (only applicable when in a moving vehicle)

This skill helps to negate movement modifiers in vehicle combat. Attacker must possess the corresponding skill for the weapon used. The modifiers only apply to combat scenarios that entail moving vehicles...for example a person standing on the ground may use it to fire upon a moving hovercycle, but not at occupants in a parked ground car --- or a person in an air car may use it to fire at ground targets (stationary or otherwise).
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 6, 2016 - 10:20am
Shadow Shack wrote:
http://www.starfrontiers.us/node/1767

Vehicle Combat
Success Rate: +5% to hit (only applicable when in a moving vehicle)

This skill helps to negate movement modifiers in vehicle combat. Attacker must possess the corresponding skill for the weapon used. The modifiers only apply to combat scenarios that entail moving vehicles...for example a person standing on the ground may use it to fire upon a moving hovercycle, but not at occupants in a parked ground car --- or a person in an air car may use it to fire at ground targets (stationary or otherwise).


That skill isn't a bad idea. But I was thinking more along the lines of incorporating some of the rules from Dragon magazine into the Alpha Dawn vehicle combat rules.

For example:

Here Comes the  Cavalry!

Conventional warfare in the STAR FRONTIERS® game

by Matt  Bandy

Dragon Magazine, issue 120, April 1987, pp. 70-73

Bumping maneuvers

The vehicles dealt with in this article may take any action, such as bumping and slipping, that  normal  vehicles  can. The battlewagon is an exception to this rule, as its actions may be limited by its size.

Some examples of bumping seem pretty unlikely, such as a hovercycle running an explorer off the road. To correct this situation and to integrate cavalry vehicles into the game, each vehicle has been assigned a bump number. These numbers are listed in Table 4.

(I need to recreate Table 4)

When a bumping situation occurs, the referee finds the difference between the two vehicles. Bump Numbers and multiplies that number by five. The result is added to the modified reaction speed (RS) score of the driver of the higher-valued vehicle, then subtracted from that of the driver of the lower-valued vehicle.

A percentile-die roll is made for each driver to resolve the success or failure of the bump. Rolls of 01-05 always indicate success, just as rolls of 96-00 always indicate failure.

For example, a hovercycle is trying to run a ground car off the road. A quick look at Table 4 shows the difference between the two vehicle’s Bump Numbers to be four.

The hovercycle driver’s score of 63 minus 20 (4 x 5 = 20) is 43, and the ground  car driver’s score of  81 plus 20 (for being the driver of the higher-valued vehicle) and minus 30 (for being the vehicle  bumped) is 71.

The hovercycle driver makes a 1d100 roll of 26, meaning  he maintained control of  his vehicle. The ground  car  driver, however, is not so fortunate: a roll of 95 indicates loss of control.

The referee now consults the Control Table in the Alpha Dawn expanded rules (page 31) and continues play.

When a driver loses control of his vehicle, standard procedures governing this situation apply. The exceptions to this rule are the tank (ground) and the battlewagon.

Due to their low centers of gravity and width, these two vehicles do not roll over. Treat a result of either “roll” or “roll and burn” as a spin.

THIS IS KIND OF WHAT I WAS HINTING AT. (Sorry, not trying to shout, but to differentiate between the Dragon story and my comments).

I was just wondering if anyone has already incorporated ideas like this into a revised Alpha Dawn vehicle combat document. Otherwise, I'm working on one for my own campaign.

Cheers!
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Joe Cabadas