Help support TMP


"Is there any interest in a MASSIVE scale spacefleet game?" Topic


33 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.


Back to the Playtest Message Board

Back to the Game Design Message Board

Back to the Spaceship Gaming Message Board

Back to the SF Discussion Message Board


1,381 hits since 26 Mar 2009
©1994-2014 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Cilidar Inactive Member26 Mar 2009 9:48 p.m. PST

For a little while now I've been playing with the idea for an even larger scale space battle game. Think of it as being like 2mm compared to 6mm. My hope is that it would allow for those unbelievably massive space battle you see in Western Sci-fi and Anime from time to time (such as the final battle in 'Macross:DYRL?'. It would also allow those monstrously big ships to be fielded. All in a nice tabletop area.

Much like fighter squadrons in games such as Full Thrust, the smaller capital class ships could be mounted on one base as a multi-mount. This would open up a new scale for modelers. Or, if you'd like to use minis you already have, you could just use a die to represent how many ships are left in each battle-group.
I think a dedicated game would do such a scaling much better than other systems with the players using scale blindness.

Anyway, I'm going to start drafting some rules. Tell me what you think!!!

Covert Walrus26 Mar 2009 10:04 p.m. PST

Ummm . . . Sounds like Starfire with minis instead of markers.

Then again, that is not a bad thing in and of itself:)

Cilidar Inactive Member26 Mar 2009 10:35 p.m. PST

Starfire? As in Mekton: Starfire Battalion? I haven't read it but my initial idea was sparked from one of its concepts that was mentioned here: TMP link .

I'm thinking I'll skip reading it until I come up with ideas of my own so I don't mimic it a lot. I might pick it up later for some ideas though…

Cilidar Inactive Member26 Mar 2009 10:37 p.m. PST

I used some Google-Fu just now and came up with this: link
Did you mean that Starfire?

AWuuuu27 Mar 2009 3:48 a.m. PST

star-ranger.com/Starfire.htm

i think he meant this starfire ;>

Personal logo Inari7 Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2009 5:26 a.m. PST

If you can make your rules paperless, as in no record keeping like Battlestations! Battlestations! WWII rules you may have a winner.

……………Doug

ZandrisIV Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Mar 2009 6:10 a.m. PST

When your scale gets that small, you might be better off converting one of the 6mm rulesets to fit. Unless you're planning on having interstellar conflict, you should be able to abstract a large-scale starship game as a 6mm ground game.

I.e. you could play LOGH with say Epic Armageddon rules, just replace the miniatures.

By John 54 Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2009 6:53 a.m. PST

Bigger is always better!
Do they make starships in 1/35? NOW your talking.

John

Allen5727 Mar 2009 6:55 a.m. PST

I would really like a game as you describe it. I have been trying to come up with a paperless game of really big battles on and off for several years. Not enough time however. Never thought of an even smaller scale of ships than the Agents of Gaming fleet action scale. Sounds like a great idea.

Al

Captain Gideon Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2009 7:39 a.m. PST

I think that the StarBlazers Fleet Battle System rules are meant for LARGE SCALE Fleet Actions.

Captain Gideon

The Monstrous Jake27 Mar 2009 7:59 a.m. PST

I've done very large scale spaceship battles using several different homegrown rulesets. It can be a lot of fun.

I think in order to pull it off you need to keep the record-keeping to an absolute minimum (paperless would be great if you can figure out how to do it) and keep the details to a minimum too. That might scare away some spaceship gamers who are from the "more detail is always better" school of thought.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2009 8:18 a.m. PST

For starters, take a look at these games:

G.O.B.S.! thegobspage.com

Battleshift link

Both are intended for "MASSIVE fleets," although by using different approaches.

G.O.B.S.! treats ships as individuals, but record keeping is minimal (a single stat line) and ships typically blow up very quickly.

Battleshift uses the formations approach, where ships are removed from a formation as the formation is damaged (IIRC), but the shape of the formation is significant so ships aren't just "hit markers."

The latter concern is the catch to any large fleet game— differentiating ships enough that they're ships and not just glorified hit markers. The other concern is making maneuver a significant element of the game, without bogging down the play. Lastly, you need someway to allow for different tactics among opposing forces— the Federation should not fight like Klingons, and that's true for more reasons than just cultural concepts. Differing weapons systems, engine "speeds", maneuverability, defense systems, etc. should come into play, leading the players to approach their tactical situation differently. If all forces are the same, or only vary in ship type but all ship types are identical, then the game risks becoming very predictable very quickly… and therefore very boring. Something to keep in mind as you tinker!

For more game examples, hyperspace over to the Starship Combat News at star-ranger.com/Home.htm

Best of luck!

--- Howard Shirley, creator of Generic Outlandishly Big Spacefleets!

Cilidar Inactive Member27 Mar 2009 8:24 a.m. PST

"I think in order to pull it off you need to keep the record-keeping to an absolute minimum (paperless would be great if you can figure out how to do it) and keep the details to a minimum too. That might scare away some spaceship gamers who are from the "more detail is always better" school of thought."

My idea is to make a sort of mid-level detail game. The ships are grouped into Battle-groups and each battle-group has its own sheet. The sheets would only have the minimum amount of info needed. such as health, weapons, fighters or Mecha if any.

Battlegroups consist of the different scales of capital ships. Class 1 would be anything > fighters up till frigates; there would be about 5+ ships in these battlegroups. Class 2 would be your cruisers and light carriers and would have around 3-4 ships per group. Class 3 Destroyers and carriers, around 2 per group. Class 4 are your Battleships, Super Carriers, and small flagships, these have just one per group. Then 5+ will go up to bases, superships, megaships, Superstructures, etc. Just a thought, tell me what you think.

Conversely, the smaller scaled ships are more specialized, and bigger ships have more options.

You could then position the smaller battlegroups with the larger ones in formation and still get the traditional fleet mix.

Also, thanks Parzival,I'll look into them!

Personal logo Dervel Supporting Member of TMP Fezian27 Mar 2009 9:16 a.m. PST

You might consider a system like GOBS uses where you have to hit a certain threshold of damage for it to have an effect. Then the ships go down in performance on a scale. Pretty simple record keeping.

Another even simpler form you might take a look at the A&A Naval rules. It uses something similar to GOBS.

i.e. I shoot at your big ship, to score any damage I must do more than X amount of damage to. Then I simply keep track of the number of hits done to destroy it.

The effectiveness of the ship in combat is unchanged until the ship has one hit left, then everything is halved.

If I score more than Y points of damage, I have destroyed the ship outright by going over it's critical defense.

It is a very simple system and even handles fighters. I really think it could be adapeted to space models.

WereSandwich Inactive Member27 Mar 2009 12:47 p.m. PST

I've been thinking about doing something like this, using the SOBH engine, where one stand would be a squadron. Problems I'm having are keeping manoeuvre relevant without having to keep track of vectors for each squadron. Also incorporating some kind of attrition into the SOBH engine, although that's not as hard.

Personal logo Dervel Supporting Member of TMP Fezian27 Mar 2009 1:53 p.m. PST

We decided to use plotted movement for fighters and ships, but not pure vector movement.

Plotting is relatively easy because we use ship displays with plastics pegs to indicate heading and speed. We let fighters plot twice to represent their ability to react to capital ships. Seems to work pretty well so far.

Cilidar Inactive Member27 Mar 2009 3:39 p.m. PST

My idea idea was similar as far as Fighters and Mecha go.

For each battlegroup I'm considering formation chits. Each battlegroup can change into formations that would give it bonuses and weaknesses. These would be represented by the chits. I.e. A frigate battlegroup switches to a wall formation and a wall formation chit is put beside it. While in wall formation the ships would have a bonus to attacking anything in the forward-arc of the group but attackers firing at the side or rear of the battlegroup get a bonus.

As far as movement goes I'm not sure whether to do a vector, semi-vector, or a plain movement yet because of the scale of things. I'll think it over and get back to you.

Sargonarhes28 Mar 2009 5:09 a.m. PST

So we're talking fleets of LoGH and Lensman sizes right?

Cilidar Inactive Member28 Mar 2009 1:42 p.m. PST

I'm sorry, Sargonarhes, I haven't read either of those two series :( . But my goal is to be able to field ships in the A) Dozens
B) Hundreds

I will probably achieve this by doing different scaling options.

MacrossMartin29 Mar 2009 2:53 a.m. PST

See Legend of Galactic Heroes, Cilidar. Its an anime series which, for stonking-huge fleet fights, just can't be beat! Highly recommended, if only for the sheer sense of scale.

Cilidar Inactive Member29 Mar 2009 9:01 a.m. PST

"See Legend of Galactic Heroes, Cilidar. Its an anime series which, for stonking-huge fleet fights, just can't be beat! Highly recommended, if only for the sheer sense of scale."

Sounds awesome. I'll look into it. One of the best examples I have already is DYRL. The more the merrier!

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP29 Mar 2009 10:00 p.m. PST

For each battlegroup I'm considering formation chits. Each battlegroup can change into formations that would give it bonuses and weaknesses. These would be represented by the chits. I.e. A frigate battlegroup switches to a wall formation and a wall formation chit is put beside it. While in wall formation the ships would have a bonus to attacking anything in the forward-arc of the group but attackers firing at the side or rear of the battlegroup get a bonus.

I'm not seeing what you mean by this.

I'm assuming a "wall" formation is essentially a line of battle similar to an old 18th-19th century navy; one ship following the other so as to present a long continuous chain of broadsides to the enemy. But that doesn't seem to fit the description and combat effects you mention.

In general, it seems to me the advantages or disadvantages to a formation should be inherent in the shape of it (just as in, well, "real life," to the extent we can use the term of space combat). In other words, nobody in history chose a formation (whether land-based, naval or aeronautical) because it gave some sort of magic "boost," but because it inherently offered tactical advantages.

For example, a wedge formation works because it allows an ever increasing spread of attack to force a hole through a line. An envelopment works because it concentrates the firepower on the enemy while forcing him to disperse his, etc., etc..

In the case of your "wall" formation, whatever it is, the orientation of the ships should inherently produce the advantages and disadvantages you describe. You wouldn't need a chit to mark it; it would just "happen."

Looking back at the line of battle example: While it was inherently formidable along the side, it was weak to the front of the line and the rear. Also, if enemy ships could break through gaps in the line, the formation could be disrupted, or be attacked on two sides making it the meat in a broadside sandwich. If you use firing arcs, etc., I would assume some similar effects in a space game. No need for bonuses or minuses; the strength and weaknesses would simply come out in play.

I think as you go you will discover that formations will produce all sorts of unique tactical potential simply through questions of how line-of-sight is affected, whether fields of fire overlap, whether ranged weapons are placed to their best advantage, where tough ships are vis-a-vis weaker ships, slower ships vis-a-vis faster ones, etc. Experiment and see what happens before you try the chit approach. You may be surprised at the results.

The Epic Gamer Supporting Member of TMP30 Mar 2009 8:16 a.m. PST

Warcosm is fleet scale:

link

Not sure if you're looking for something even bigger, scale wise, than that.

Lampyridae Inactive Member02 Apr 2009 6:46 p.m. PST

What Parzival says about the Wall formation makes sense. Strong in two directions

Best formation is a Blob formation with ships equally spaced. A variation on that is to have ships in pairs or triples so that hits can be soaked up on the armour of an undamaged ship. A V formation offers a bit of protection for flank armour in this way. It also offers the option to attack in one direction and be covered in another. A swept X formation also offers similar advantages but is best for defense against multiple directions. In general tighter formations offer the best defense against lasers but are slower because ships have to avoid toasting each other with their drives. Nukes as countermeasures and defense smokescreens / shields are overlapped in tight formations. Loose formations are best against massive explosions and offer the most freedom for attack and movement. It's best to think of ships as tanks in space but on a battlefield so big that each formation is effectively a single unit.

Cilidar Inactive Member02 Apr 2009 9:29 p.m. PST

What I had meant was the Wall formations not being a line but an actual wall with ships lined up above, below, and to the sides in a vertical square. I'm guessing you were thinking most of the guns were lined up on the sides of the ships? I was thinking ships that had most of the guns facing forward ala Homeworld.

Lampyridae Inactive Member02 Apr 2009 9:34 p.m. PST

Laser lenses require a lot of lens diameter for greater range and are vulnerable to fire. They would probably be mounted in the flanks behind a heavily armoured nosecone.

As for kinetic guns, unless the enemy is flying straight at them most shots would actually be leading the target somewhat so again little reason to face forward.

RudyNelson03 Apr 2009 8:53 a.m. PST

larger scale 6mm allows for greater ship detail than 2mm. One consideration before deciding on a scale should be the basing system used. If you are going with a standard system such as the 40mm depth and width of DBx, then I would go with a scale that allows the ships to be placed on the base in a reasonable manner.

We did a similar system using DBA style mecahnaics. though we added the hit box concept which are popular with otehr space vessel/ship rules. Plays fast and deadly.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP04 Apr 2009 4:26 p.m. PST

What I had meant was the Wall formations not being a line but an actual wall with ships lined up above, below, and to the sides in a vertical square. I'm guessing you were thinking most of the guns were lined up on the sides of the ships? I was thinking ships that had most of the guns facing forward ala Homeworld.

Ah, then the advantages and disadvantages would fall into place naturally. Any enemy in front of the "wall" would naturally be placed under a great concentration of fire. It would just "happen" that way; no need for any bonus or modifier. But the formation itself would be just as naturally vulnerable to the sides and rear (assuming weapons are limited to the rear). The sides would be weaker because only one or a small percentage of ships would be able to bring weapons to bear on their flanks… although the ships towards the interior of the "wall" would be shielded by the outlying vessels.
To the rear, the entire formation is vulnerable simply because fewer weapons within the formation can cover against attacks from behind. In all of these cases, there would be no need for any sort of "magic" modifier. The formation affects the tactical considerations on its own.

(All of the above assumes you are using a system that restricts firing arcs in the way you describe. In a 360° system, the "wall" formation would simply be weaker offensively on its edge because fewer ships would have LOS on targets to the flanks of the wall. The fore and aft regions would be equally powerful.)

Akalabeth Inactive Member04 Apr 2009 6:22 p.m. PST

Starblazers Fleet Battle System already uses the multiple small ships per base btw. And their ships are fairly small. Though I only have a few of them myself.

Cilidar Inactive Member04 Apr 2009 6:24 p.m. PST

In a larger scale, yes, the actual position of the fleets would be the tactic. In the rules I'm working on it is different. A base generally represents several ships, having no other way to position them, a chit would show what kind of formation the ships in this one base are in. Sorry for the confusion.

Cilidar Inactive Member06 Apr 2009 5:56 p.m. PST

Thread for the playtest version is up: TMP link

It will be out soon :D Hopefully…

Roll Again Inactive Member10 Apr 2009 8:48 a.m. PST

The closest my thoughts have come to this idea is a space fighter combat game within a fleet of massive capital ships, such as x-wings and TIE fighters swarming around Star Destroyers.

I fiddled with the idea of Studio Bergstrom snub fighters mounted on metal rods with a magnet at the end and large scale spaceships like mailing tubes with magnets or metal plates mounted all around the "hull" so that the fighters could move along the big capital ships. Think terrain that shoots.

Never got very far with it.

Cilidar Inactive Member10 Apr 2009 12:16 p.m. PST

I played with the idea of something similar. Kind of like a trench run on a large ship. The terrain would be a mix of hull and trenches so the gameplay in some ways be like Space Hulk in the sense that movement would be constricted so you had to plan ahead a little.

Sorry - only trusted members can post on the forums.