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Thread: Mass battles…these are my notes

  1. #1

    Mass battles…these are my notes

    Mass battles…these are my notes

    I don’t know if I should put this here or in the narrators area but I chose here as it is all about ships and stuff. I never until someone asked me looking through the stuff in the basement asked if I had ever written up my rules for Mass Battles. I hadn’t anything solid that is just notes here and there stuck in my TNG Core book from Last Unicorn.

    So here is the Mass Battle write up that is what I have used to generate the mass battle scenarios I have posted here in the Spacedock forum. I don’t know if there was anyone interested but here it is just the basics. I left the house rules for all gaming to be put in a PDF file sometime in the future, all two hundred pages and addendums.

    Mass Tactical Battle
    The mass combat Tactical battles are basically the line battle seen in the Dominion war where the two sides have hundreds of starship on either side. Even though this can be expanded to that level this was inspired by the Dominion War and the videos of Star Trek vs. Babylon 5 where the two sides fight. Here is how it is done.

    This has been done only by my group using basic LUG Icon and Spacedock ship I don’t know how it would work with the other systems. Mongoose games created a series of war games for Babylon 5 games A Call to Arms including their supplement publications and the First and Second World War Navel Sea Combat table top that have interesting additions that can be added to the battles. I have personally done the Second World War navel war fair and even reenacted Pearl Harbor where the American Fleet was waiting for the Japanese and even a counter strike where the Aircraft carriers engaged the Japanese fleet with drawing. If you can find them they are helpful in this set up and this uses some of its play methods where it is still individual ships this is element of six ships and such.

    The Set up
    The set up for a mass tactical combat scenario is something like any other game it takes a little while longer here as there is several people playing. There are the two to twelve people involved (and sometimes even more) in this version plus a GM all whom must have agreed on before beginning. The group decides who is on who’s team.

    The teams are broken down into one guy is vote leader of the team and will direct the overall plan of the battle while the rest are wing commanders. If two per side the two players have to come up with compatible strategies and working together and that even goes for the three or more players.

    If there is only three players a death match where each player has ships and the three go after each other no holds barge. All rules apply to the battle.

    Each of the wing commanders will have four to six elements of ships. Each wing commander will set up his elements. (See fleet organization below)

    All weapons are agreed upon before the battle starts. No super weapons pulled out after the battle begins. Ramming another ship is allowed and generally both ships are lost to the act. The six ships in an element can target a single ship in the enemy element or even their own forces elements if called.

    Fleet organization

    The fleet organization is set up as Fleet Admiral an overall commander of the wing commanders. The wing commanders follow the Admirals orders nevertheless when the tactical situation changes they must take the moment to adapt to the fight.

    There are multiple ways of setting up your ships into their elements. The first and easiest is six ships making an element of ships all ships cannot be the same size.

    An example is one Galaxy class, two Excelsior class, two Miranda class, and one Defiant Class. Basically a battle ship two cruisers, two destroyers and an escort ship would make up an element even though I have approved an all Miranda class element.

    Another way is a point restriction. Each wing commander will have 180 size points total to make up their elements. A 30 point average to an element, where the above element is a 37 point element based on the size of each ship. If they do not use all their points on one element they can move it to another element to boost its fighting capability. This keeps the fleets balanced and better looking as a real battle group. The exception to this is when the configuration is approved by the GM or the fleet is smaller. Looking at the Babylon 5 fleets they would need a large individual element number or the Original series Star Trek fleet would be easily manageable in the points and Enterprise era would be able to comprise a fleet in an entire element. GM’s will need to look to what your fleets will be as both sides should have the same amount of points available. Some scenarios such as a Star Trek vs. Babylon 5 match up does not work as well yet where the Star Trek ships have shield the Babylon 5 ships make up in armor and size.

  2. #2
    Meeting the Enemy
    The best and easiest way to deploy the two fleets is line of battle, one fleet to one side and the other fleet to the other side. Then have at it. Well some bright Fleet Commanders may have a bright idea on how to deploy their fleet in three sections or something like that. As long as you have the room have at it.

    During a battle one element may attack only one other element at a time. If that element is already engaged in a fight it may wait in support to the first that is engaging it but cannot engage till the other element is done or moved off. Yet, if the enemy element is attacking one of your elements that is not engaging it an attack can be made on the enemy element.

    There are two ways to resolve element combat that is using the Spacedock’s rules and the other is tracking the damage that is inflicted to individual ships. The Spacedock rules eliminate elements faster but the other is more realistic and one ship in an element may be destroyed but the rest may still be there to continue fighting. Use which ever that you wish to.

    Pulling back and regrouping is sometimes in order and when that happens your wing commanders may take their elements and reorganize them back into six ship elements leaving the elements that are empty cast a side.

    Re-enforcing the line is permitted as it is an option for both fleets and must have been arranged with the GM before the game started. This re-enforcing group will be already determined before the start. This group of ships may be deployed to fill the empty elements that have been depleted.

    * The first is the movement phase. Everyone moves their ships to where they can engage the enemy that they wish to attack.
    * Second is the call shot where they are targeting who in the round.
    * Third is the fight. Rolls to see if they actually caused damage to the enemy. (This is where a good element to element fight can go really ugly and even disastrous with a few bad rolls.)
    * Fourth the resolution of the round. Who has been damaged and who has been victor in the element to Element match is determined.

    The Battleground

    The field of battle can be open space where the ships have room to maneuver however a star system with an asteroid belt tends to prolong the battle and add a bit of difficulty to the battle as the asteroids tend to get in the way all of the time. Planets and Stars can be utilized in the battles to distract and even as weapons themselves. There are places where an element can go to avoid battle for a moment or two.

    The Scenario’s

    The first was our Dominion War Battles where the two fleets met and fought tooth and nail till one side or the other won. Then there is the Star Trek vs. Babylon 5 match up that was an ongoing rematch games. If using the Rebel Fleet attacking the Death Star II as in the Return of the Jedi it is a lopsided match up as the Death Star is making the Empires points heavy. Then there is a match up I have seen videos on Youtube of Star Trek and Star Wars and you could make the Starfleet attacking the Death Star as the rebels had.

    A good source of scenarios is Babylon 5 A Call to Arms series that has B5 scenarios or even Victory at sea battles have good options. I have used some of these in some of our mass combat match ups.

    Some other scenario’s are
    * Planetary blockade (with this you need a planet. Remember some planets have shields and defensive weapons)
    * Convoy escort and raids
    * Search and destroy the cloaked fleet. (Yes Cloaking devices are allowed.)
    * Defend the space station from invaders (Star Trek vs. Babylon 5 video).
    * Romulan War battles (no more than three to six ships for both sides as it was not the super grand battle of the Dominion War. No more than two - four players for an engagement. Individual ship combat would be more aped to the era.)
    * Dominion War (an unequaled match up against the Federation Fleet and the Dominion and Cardassian Fleets combined having easily twice as many ships to fight.)

    There are thousands of scenarios that can be arranged.

    Things to remember is that Spacedock takes longer and is more record keeping and while the basic system is quick and easy licitly split in comparison it has the good and bad. With spacedock the ships can take more damage than they do in basic.

    So this is about all there is to it. All Spacedock Rules apply and it can take a while to play out record keeping is a must and everyone must keep their own records to the damage to their ships. If the GM has an assistant who will keep track of the placement of the ships during the battle… that’s it is if you have one.

    For me I have what was an isolated single car garage next door to a double car garage that was turned into an activity room where they laid out two tones of bathroom tiles on the floor that is about two inch squares and works wonderfully for this kind of thing.

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