In Which We Appeal to Mongoose

Turn 2 provided us with another useful lesson for miniatures campaigners: make sure everyone’s on the same page before you start!

I had gone into this endeavor with the understanding that things would be along the lines of the campaign system as presented in Sky Full of Stars: variable Priority Levels, points values, and scenarios. Others in the group had in their mind more of a Twilight Imperium feel: full access to your entire fleet at all times. The first way encourages more balanced fleets, the second way quicker and more decisive results.

This split had direct bearing on our first major in-game rules issue. The campaign rules are written on a one-system-one fleet basis. What happens when you have multiple fleets (a common occurrence in a game our size) in one system? Are they considered one big fleet or several small fleets? Can they take one Strategic Target or several?

Well when in doubt, go to the source. Here’s what Mongoose told us:

In this instance, they may separate into smaller fleets to attack different system targets. The defending fleet may separate as they wish to defend these.

This is an interesting can of worms to open, as it basically replaces the old “one fleet-one target” system with a completely new way of doing things. Before, you didn’t have to worry about defending all your STs as long as you had the ships to cover them. Here, positioning enters the mix.

It also leads to another question: what happens when your fleet doesn’t have ships of the proper priority level for the scenario? Modify the PL? Or should fleets exist as abstract “points” with ships bought as needed? Again, here’s Mongoose’s interpretation:

The last option (points) is the one to use, however the way you have been playing it can certainly be made to work. Perhaps if a player cannot bring some of his ships to the battle the story could be that sudden repairs have delayed that ship entering the battle.

This, to me, is slightly unsatisfying. Making fleets abstract essentially does away with the XP dice system, Crew Quality increases, and the Other Duties table all of which are full of great fluff.  In essence we’d have to either give all ships a blanket CQ of 4, which is bland, or reroll crew qualities for every battle, which is unrealistic. It also breaks the repair system: if ships aren’t permanent why keep track of damage? 

One way around some of these issues might be to “pool” earned experience dice. These could then be spent as desired when making fleet lists, and ships with modifications could then be kept by the player for later use. These ships would be useable in only one battle per turn, and would be lost when destroyed.

Mongoose’s reply DID ensure that there will be a battle this turn, as their ruling allows the League’s fleets to go to multiple strategic targets. Thus, the virtual pages of this blog will soon be filled with the silent, deadly interpretive dance of space combat. Finally! 

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2 Responses to “In Which We Appeal to Mongoose”

  1. Well, Lets be about it! 😀

  2. I concurr with Rob’s writings on the answer to the 2nd question posed to Mongoose. Our fleets are not some amorphous blob that we dip into and shape of fleets from. And the shear numbers to cover every combination of fleet size would be too much to deal with. I think we should meet again this Friday to discuss this.

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