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Re: strike the colors rule

From: "Mark 'Indy' Kochte" <kochte@s...>
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 2001 11:59:20 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: strike the colors rule

On Tue, 2 Jan 2001 wrote:

> Striking colours (suggest a check every turn at last hull box and get
> damaged - score must equal the number of hull boxes left, but a 6
> fails)
> No, no, a thousand times no.	I hate this rule.  This is not the
> ships and iron men era.  How many ships "struck their colors" in
> WW1 & WW2?   And what do you mean "a 6 always fails"?  That
> they surrender on a 6?  This would be way way too often.  Our games
> have had people flee when on the last roll of hull boxes and have a 
> working FTL drive, but this is at the player's discretion and not on a

> fluke of a die roll.	Make it a 2D6 possibility and I MAY accept it.
> I'm glad it's optional because I ain't playing with it as is.

I was never real warm to the 'striking the colours' optional rule as
it is written, but I *did* like the idea of some sort of morale check
for ships to depart the battlefield (battle area?) so as to 1) preserve
a force from utter destruction, and 2) give an influence (to some small
degree) of a "larger picture". I have rarely been satisfied with the
"we fight until only one side remains" mentality (yes, sometimes this
is appropriate and has a place, but in each and *every* game?). As
Allan pointed out in another reply to this thread, many naval wargamers
don't blink twice at sending a damaged ship headlong into utter
destruction if they think it will damage the enemy sufficiently before
it dies. I think this applies to other gamers (not just naval), also,
and I have to admit to being guilty of it in my past.

In order to try and stem this philosophy from being all-pervasive,
I began to introduce scenario-specific 'withdraw' conditions until
I came up with a general set I like. It is as follows:

"Once a ship takes damage to it's 3rd damage row, it must with draw from
the fight, if at all possible, unless the commander of the ship rolls a
'5' or ' 6' on 1d6, then the ship can stay in the battle. If a ship has
taken damage to it's 4th row of boxes, it must withdraw from the fight
at all possible. It is considered a mission kill at this point and may
longer participate in combat (beyond any PDS defensive fire that may
to be done against incoming attacking fighters or missiles). Any ship
which is forced to withdraw is considered a 'kill' for Mass casualty

"Whichever side suffers 75% total Mass in casualties must withdraw from
the system. If both sides suffer 75%+ total Mass in casualties at the
time, the side with the least amount of Mass of ships must withdraw
(really, neither side has the resources to suffer too many ships lost;
is better to withdraw with intelligence on the enemy at this point and
return with reinforcements rather than press the issue and retain the
system with a weakened force). Fighters do not count for the casualty
calculation. Ships which were forced to withdraw due to damage do.

"If one side suffers more than 85% total Mass in ships lost, they may be
required to surrender (if they are unable to escape the map under
Thrust power the immediately following turn). Each ship is rolled for.
a 1-3 they surrender but scuttle the ship (escape the ship in lifepods,
but are picked up as POWs for later political exchanging). On a 4-5 the
ship is captured relatively intact by the winning side. On a 6 the ship
attempts to escape, anyway, and the winning side may opt to re-issue the
surrender order the following turn, or blow it out of the sky. Should
winning side opt to issue a surrender notice to the losing side, the
winning side may not fire that turn! Otherwise the losing side can
the surrender request."

Of course there IS room for interpretation of events, and these should
be dealt with by a gamemaster (eg, an SDN just took it's first damage
point to the 4th hull row, and it now *must* retreat and cannot continue
combat; well, the opposing forces don't WANT it to go, so they continue
to dog it; what's the poor SDN to do but fire back as it departs? is
that considered "participating in combat" or "self-preservation"? that
is for the referee to decide).

Anyway, this is what I now use in general (except for the Siege of
Sol scenario to be played at GZG-ECC IV; there the humans basically
have their backs to the wall...  ;-)

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