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[GZG] [FT] Point Blank / Passing Fire

From: Noam Izenberg <noam.izenberg@j...>
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2006 14:39:12 -0400
Subject: [GZG] [FT] Point Blank / Passing Fire

I can give some details of this rule suggestion, as I've done a some  
playtesting with it and I think it works very well for modest size  
games. If many ships are going to be zipping by one another in a  
great melee, things can bog down significantly. I'd love to see what  
others think about how it plays.

The "Point Blank" rule:
**This rule requires real sportsmanship on behalf of opposing  
players, otherwise it will be a source of angst, acrimony, and	
gnashing of teeth and should not be used.**

If players see that two ships will pass or have passed within ~6MU   
(~6MU is **approximate** and is exactly the kind of measurement that  
should _not_ be anally stickled with) of each other in the movement  
phase, they may declare "Point Blank" for those ships. The Point  
Blank Fire phase happens JUST BEFORE normal ship activation/ 
initiative. Point blank ships may fire weapons at each other using  
the following guidelines

The Point Blank Fire phase consists of 4 parts:
	     Fire all weapons bearing while converging (simultaneous)
	     Assess converging damage
	     Fire all weapons bearing while diverging (simultaneous)
	     Assess Diverging damage.

Which arcs bear during “converging” and “diverging” is depends
on how	
ships are passing each other. A Head-on pass is when, for example,  
ships A and B begin in each other’s Forward arcs and end in each  
other’s Aft arcs. Thus, converging fire is both ships firing all  
Forward 180 weapons simultaneously, and diverging fire is both ships  
firing (surviving) Aft weapons simultaneously.

An Overtake is when ship A begins with its forward arcs facing B’s  
Aft arcs, and ends with A’s Aft arcs facing B’s Forward arcs. Thus, 

converging fire is A’s Forward arcs and B’s aft arcs; and diverging 

fire is A’s Aft arcs, and B’s Forward arcs.

Cases where ship A “T-bones” ship B by crossing from port to  
starboard side or vice versa can still be broken down to a variation  
of Head-on or Chase as long as sportsman rules apply (a variation  
would be to have the T-bonesd ship able to fire all port side weapons  
during converging and all starboard weapons during diverging).

Ships engaging in passing fire are considered "activated" already  
when going through normal initiative. A ship opting not to fire point  
blank may be activated as normal. Yes, this means that an SDN going  
point blank with a Destroyer needs to decide whether to spend its  
activation dealing with the destroyer head on, or waiting  until  
normal activation to potentially use multiple fire controls against  
multiple targets.

If several ships go point blank of each other in close proximity, a  
"Firefight" is declared, and all ships within it follow the PB Fire  
phase at the same time. A Firefight with 3 or more ships should  
probably have the PB phase simplified to “all ships fire FH/assess/AH/

asses” regardless of head-on/chase/T-bone passes.

Passing fire would add a huge Cinematic feel for FT, opens new	
tactical options (and closes some less realistic mechanics-based  
ones), and provide something that no other tabletop game (that I know  
of) ha been able to do without segmented movement.

Point Blank on two ships:
If, for example ship X goes Point blank to Ship A at the start of a  
movement, and then to ship B at the end of movement (but both  
encounters are far enough apart that they do not cause a Firefight),  
then X must choose if he wants to use Point Plank resolution on  
either A or B (or neither and wait for normal activation in the turn  

Game speed/number of ships.
This rule has worked well with small numbers of ships (4-5 on a side  
max). It can be fiddly, though. If two ships end turn one facing each  
other at 1 MU, both in F arc, then you'll probably get the ships  
firing on each other almost instantly twice in a row (at the end of  
turn X, and at the start of turn X+1), unless you also place a	
minimum (1/2 turn?) cycle time on weapons, which gets dicey if you  
fire 75% of the way through turn X and try to eyeball 25% of the way  
through turn X+1)

On Jun 29, 2006, at 10:37 AM,  

>  While there seems to be no easy or
> foolproof way around it, there was an interesting rule option
> suggested by discussions on the test list a while back, along these
> lines:
> In simple terms, if two ships "cross" during a turn in such a away
> that they would have been within 6mu of each other at and point of
> the movement, then either or both players have the option of
> declaring "CLOSE PASS" fire; in this event, the fire is resolved as
> if it occurred at 6mu range or less, effectively point-blank fire as
> the ships pass each other. This is a rather vague concept, and
> unfortunately would be open to severe munchkinism; it could probably
> only be made to work in strictly non-competitive games between
> friendly and reasonable players! But, the concept is interesting, and
> if it can be worded in such a way as to define things tightly enough
> without it taking up 17 pages, then it may be worth looking at if
> only as a very optional rule!

I, Brazen Gnome   (Noam Izenberg)

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