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Re: [GZG] Orders Writing and Thresholds, and Game Plans....

From: Eric Foley <stiltman@t...>
Date: Fri, 18 Dec 2009 15:00:56 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: [GZG] Orders Writing and Thresholds, and Game Plans....

-----Original Message-----
>From: Tom B <>
>One thing that lengthens a game is managing squadrons once parts of
>your squadron take damage... some of your ships will be manouvering at
>full potential, others will be limping along, not able to match
>thrusts or turns.

In my games this hasn't generally been a problem.  Ships that are
damaged enough that they start falling out of formation usually don't
survive long enough to create an extra variable in keeping track of
where ships are.  Combined fire from plasma bolts and torpedo bombers
that manages to successfully connect usually tends to eradicate most or
all of a formation, alpha strikes from salvo missiles will either be
stopped cold by amassed point defense or blow away whatever it hits, and
anything that survives all that to actually get off direct fire usually
tends to focus all of it on one ship at a time to kill it and then move

>In the games we play, template weapons are visual eyeball, quick
>laydown weapons. Coordinating them with fighters usually means piling
>up the fighters somewhere about 10" out so they can do a secondary
>move into contact. None of this seems to take that long, but we don't
>allow a lot of screwing about.

We allow quick measuring in my groups to figure out ranges, but either
because my current group consists of three game developers so we're used
to this kind of thing or because my advice to the other two that
overthinking doesn't usually have a whole lot of benefit is getting
heard, we don't tend to ever have it get excessive.  We also have a lot
of ways of streamlining the game and the dice rolling that we've figured
out, though.

>Part of the delay is some people honestly don't play that often
>(sometimes once a year) and they tend to be less decisive as a result
>of unfamiliarity and trepidation. That's just the reality of
>tournaments. And my observation is it isn't 1 in 8 people at the
>table, but 3-4 in 8.

Yeah... this does kind of hurt.  Last Saturday I had a group with three
of us, we'd played a few times and they'd gotten used to it for the most
part, and after their beef with the massive dice rolling I came up with
a few more conventions for reducing it.  We played through them both
having 9000ish NPV squadrons against me role playing the bad guys with
17000 NPV, and banged through it all in about three and a half hours. 
Conversely, at Celesticon we had four of us, two of us were vets and the
other two were new, each side had roughly 4000 NPV of fleet book ships,
all the procedures exactly by the book, and it took over twice that
long.  I can think of three main reasons for the difference:  1.  Fleet
book ships are way less lethal than custom designs.  (e.g. my favorite
epic fail moment at the convention was firing off at point blank range,
nose-on firing arcs with an undamaged NSL fighter carrier and managing
to fail to kill an FSE frigate that I only had to do six points
  of damage to.  I don't think any non-carrier capital ship in my custom
games would ever manage to fail to kill something that small at that
range no matter how bad the roll was.)	2.  Full Thrust played by the
book has a lot of procedural things that could use streamlining that I
always do in my own sessions but won't happen at conventions. 
Alternating between ships and not allowing concentrated fire between
several ships, addressing every fighter group individually, and so on. 
3.  Yeah, some people were new and there was a lot of overthinking going

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