Home Forums Sci Fi General Sci-Fi Boarding actions

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  • #119030
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Just curious:

    Do you game space boarding actions?  If so, is it taken care of abstractly or skirmishy with maps, etc?

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #119063
    Thorsten Frank
    Participant

    Yes.

    "In strange grammar this one writes" - Master Yoda

    #119066
    Evyn MacDude
    Participant

    Yes, isn’t that what Deckplans are for?

    Evyn

    #119067
    Thorsten Frank
    Participant

    Ok, that was a rather short answer – to give the long one: We tried it several times with various results. First, if played such actions between two playersalways considerable slow down the flow of the game. We tried several different ways. Alternate rounds between the surrounding space battle and the boarding action often ended up in much frustration and chaotic paperwork. If we stayed to the boarding action and played that through and continued than the space battle it was much better from the chaos but it simply “felt not right”. And abstract like in SFB was nice and didn´t slow down the process but felt uneccessary in “normal” games and in scenarios (in which the boarding action was central and an objective) as something did miss.
    It´s, TBH, a horrible theme. Because reagardless what we´ve done it felt wrong.
    All this resulted in a two vs two scenario. Two players acted as fleet commanders while the other two acted as commanders of the marine forces including the boarding pods and the defence against them. That worked surprisingly well and was one of the most memorable and fun games I´ve ever played. The objective was to capture an internally completely build FSE experimental cruiser in which a friend of me put a lot of work. The attacking player´s objective was to capture the cruiser, that of the defender to defend or recapture it.
    We stayed in this game with GZG rules. Full Thrust for space and the Dirtside II with 6mm two man fire teams.  All four players were occupied during the game and it ended as the objective left captured the playing field.

    We tried a few years later a smaller scenario in some kind of a “The Scarlet Buccaneer in Space” again using Full Thrust rules and  Star Grunt II this time for the boarding action. But that didn´t go so well – as the boarding action was over the game was essentially done for two players of the four players but the action with 28mm firgures beforehand was interesting.
    Interestingly, Pirates of the Carribean historic type games somehow seem to work better than Pirates of Orion type games.
    The problem is a bit the nature of space combat in general. If you go for a “realistic” type it´s too fast to be conducted at all, if you go for an Honor Harrington approach it´s more or less Age of Sail with starships.

    "In strange grammar this one writes" - Master Yoda

    #119073
    Thorsten Frank
    Participant

    Inspired by this question I took a further look on some other space combat systems, primarily RPG systems I own, tonight. The mechanics of most aren´t the thing I´m looking for. I was especially disappointed how the official Elite Dangerous RPG handles this (curiously Elite Encounters – the FIRST licenced game for ED handles many space combat mechanics better). The various Traveller systems (I own the original GDW, Megatraveller, T:TNE (best version IMHO!), Gurps Traveller and the Mongoose Rulebook) are still the most logical (in playing terms) when it comes to boarding actions. I would like to know how 5150:Fringe Space handles this (—>Yes, I´ve got currently something like an congestion in my life preventing some very neccessary investments in gaming material).

    There´s another point. I wonder if there´s something out there that handles low-tech boarding zero-g battles as seen in the ending of the Moonraker James Bond movie besides RPGs (which mostly and obviously couldn´t handle a mass combat as seen there).

    "In strange grammar this one writes" - Master Yoda

    #119148
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Some of those systems there are pretty detailed.  The 5150 title is one that I don’t have so can’t speak to it.  In the past I have used GDWs SnapShot and AHL games as they were specifically designed for boarding actions, but also again a lot of detail.

    The crazy large scale (both in terms of ships and model scale) FT game we have been working on for conventions is currently designed where each ship has multiple players (one is the Captain and directs the ships movement and direct combat, another is the XO and directs defensive fires, damage control parties, and a 3rd if present is the Marine CO and small ship CAG controlling the internal and external defense with marines and fighter craft).  Boarding actions will be a big part of it and I’m aiming at rules that are a lot lighter and somewhat system compatible with FT.   We want there to be both exterior battles (to destroy or disable weapons, sensors, screen) and interior ones (to take over the ship, release prisoners, destroy key systems in a raid).  2 turns of boarding will equal 1 turn of ships.  I don’t have my noted with me but i’ll post a look at what I am thinking with a playthrough at some point.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #119194
    Thorsten Frank
    Participant

    Hey, that sounds much like the game we did back then. Would like to participate now (impossible). Do I get that right, you want to use the ships for the boarding actions themselves and don´t use seperate models or deckplans?

    There are so many things to keep in mind. How large is the crew of the ships for example. If it´s insanely high like the ones in Star Wars or WH40K BF:G, moderately on the more “realistic” side like Traveller, GZG FT or the I-War video game or very low like the Warhounds from Silent Death. For the former 6mm and smaller would be approriate, if possible at all, while the latter could be easily played in 28mm.
    Which ways do the troopers get to their targets? Assault shuttles like you want to do, assault pods/capsules (think of Babylon5) or Star Trek´s transporter beams (something I avoid in all my own games!).

    In case you don´t know Winchell Chung´s Atomic Rockets/Project Rho I´ll give you the link here:
    http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/astromilitary.php

    It´s the premium site concerning space combat and I blame Chung and GDW´s Fire, Fusion and Steel for making me be a hard science guy who  rather leave certain things out of a game than having “integrity” issues.

    EDIT: speaking of rules, the Firefight 2.0 rules from Alternative Armies may be perfect for boarding actions. (I just remember that I actually own the original Firefight – and never played it. Now I know what to do this weekend. Where the hell did I hide them!)

    "In strange grammar this one writes" - Master Yoda

    #119369
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Oh yes, love me some AtomicRocket.  Seriously hardcore info on there.

    We’re thinking these would be much smaller ships, more like up to 4,000 dtons with maybe a crew of 40 max.  Combat will be very quick.  Most boarding actions would probably be like 10 or 12 Marines vs 4-6 Marines and 20 crew, with the marines all having the advantage of better weapons and armor.  Maybe Damage Repair parties might have a little better armor than regular crew.  I”ll have to find my darn notes!

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #119380
    Logain
    Participant

    I always thought the Starship Marine rules did a great job for playing out boarding scenarios.  We’ve used deck plans and tiles in the past to fight skirmishes.

    #119416
    Patrice
    Participant

    Interesting thread. I’ve done lots of boarding actions in Caribbean pirates contexts, but not ever thought about doing that in Sci Fi.

    http://www.argad-bzh.fr/argad/en.html
    https://www.anargader.net/

    #119417
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    I always thought the Starship Marine rules did a great job for playing out boarding scenarios.

      I’ll take a look at those, might be a bit more than what we are needing for fast actions.

     

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

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