Tuesday, December 13, 2011

First Ship Designs for Starmada: The Next Iteration. Also Battlefleet Gothic Parallels

A few more points of Starmada news:

First public and official starship designs released (these images full property of Cricket / Dan Kast at MJ12):

As you can see, they're much stripped down from AE designs.  The attack dice chart, while space-consuming, is fairly simple once you know what you're looking at.  Also note the fixed size of systems damage tracks (only thrust here, but always 5 boxes regardless of hull.  Surprised the weapons track was omitted).  Also, 'shields' here are actually armor.  Finally, no point values yet.

Underling also released a small fleet of point-costed ships built using playtest ship construction reviews, but accidentally created a fighter scare.  He'd put weapons that launch Seekers on his ships and called them 'fighters', and there was much concern that this was how fighters were implemented by default in the new edition.  Fortunately, this is not the case; fighters "will work much as they do in AE."  I'm happy that seeker-launching will be an available weapon trait, though - it's something I've always wanted in AE.  Other traits of note from Underling's stuff include Gid - Guided?, Exp - Expendable (yeah, ammo...), Pwr - Powerful?, Acr - Accurate (hits on 4+ rather than 5+, I suspect), Rpt - Repeating.  As for ship traits, Marines look very similar to AE, but Escort and Scout are now also traits.  Not sure what they do just yet.  Anyways, the mods pulled his ships from the forums because they weren't technically rules legal (had some arc stacking and things, nevermind the fighter confusion), but if you want a look, I've re-hosted them here (likewise, property of Underling).

Finally, some data on Stealth.  Stealth n will operate the same as ECM n (applying a column shift of -n to incoming fire), except that it is not subject to systems damage, but also costs more.

One thing that keeps striking me as I read some of the new Starmada material is how similar some of the changes are to Battlefleet Gothic's rules.  Grouping of weapons in particular arcs into single banks of given firepower?  Check.  Firepower column shifting on a giant table based on situational modifiers?  Check.  Non-plotted movement?  Check.  Systems damage checks every so often based on fraction of hull destroyed?  Yep.  Armor and shields as separate defenses?  Flipped from BFG where shields are HP and armor is saves, but essentially the same.  Increased support for ECM, Stealth, and other holofieldy defenses?  Awesome.  Their fighter implementation is different, but for a sec there when I saw Underling's seeker-fighters, I went "Aha!  Another similarity!"

Not accusing of borrowing; just kind of amused.  I believe that MJ12 actually did develop a lot of this independently with Fleet Ops and Grand Fleets, but it's neat to see things converge.  Should also make my BFG conversions a little bit easier...  Heck, Underling mentioned playtesting using converted Eldar from Battlefleet.  Support straight out of the box!  Granted, he also mentioned that mobility-based fleets are rather weak currently (though that was true in AE too)...  Challenge accepted.

On a completely unrelated note, no confirmation yet that Cloaking will still be a thing...  I hope it's still a thing, for the Eldar's sake.

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