Boarding Rules

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Boarding Rules

Postby EdFadigan » Sun Jul 17, 2016 9:31 pm

We played our first game of Intercept Orbit, after having successfully introducing my Play Group to the MF0 Ruleset.

The response - was tepid.

Yes - Movement takes some getting used to - with the Template being flipped multiple times, and frowned at how to best position it in order to gauge a turn.
There was some furrowed brows regarding the differences between Capital Ships and Frigates, and why Frame Companies (which we designed as Fighter Squadron Models) - seemed so much stronger than BOTH, once the ACE company's bonuses were explained.

But - the rule that broke the game's back - was "Launching & Boarding".

Hypothetical:

A stalling player has TWO Capital Ships, and THREE Frame Companies (One of the CSHIPS, has a double catapult).

After most everyone in an area of the board has moved, the stalling player launches THREE Frame Companies at THREE different ships, none being armed with Point Defense.
Mind you, this is from ACROSS THE BOARD (Three Feet Real Scale).

At the end of the turn, all Frames are intact, and roll 1 yellow die, (two for the Ace).

If NONE of these four dice, are 1's or 2's - the Stalling player captures all three ships?

The Captured ships player, gets NO dice if he's not equipped with Point Defense?
If there's a Company on board the defender, do THEY add Yellow dice to the defense?

Boarding just seemed completely arbitrary, and not at all in the spirit of the genre.

We'd barely finished ONE game, and were already talking about House Ruling these options:

1) Launched Companies are placed within Assault Range of the Launching Ship.
2) Ships defend with Yellow Dice equal to the remaining Systems on the defending ship, including non-launched companies.

Please tell me we got *something* wrong, or that the proposed House Rules will break the game harder.

They're already trying to convince me to convert the 23 or so Ships I hobbled together, back into Mobile Frames for :RA.

And that would be a waste of a tableful of glorious Jet Black Fleece.
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Re: Boarding Rules

Postby CmdrRook » Sun Jul 17, 2016 9:54 pm

Boarding is VERY important to keep turtling strategies like these from succeeding. No matter how far away you are, a frame company is still a threat. The scarcity economy of systems is amplified when you take catapults, which don't directly benefit the ship they're on. Rarely do players just "let" opponents freely capture ships, and often deploy their own frames to stop a point surge such as the one you describe, which is lost in a demo game as all players are on even footing. Nobody has anything to gain or lose by ignoring another player, so long as they're not targeting them.

On the one hand, you are right. If none of your ships have Point-Defense systems, you will be mauled by frame companies. However, the tactical change of having just one PD system can make a capture attempt costly, if not causing it to fail outright. Frame companies will straight-up avoid a ship with two, and the range bracket allows a dedicated PD craft to contribute during a boarding scuffle.

Play smart; run formations; and use the right tools for the job; and no strategy is an easy win. The only thing I wouldn't recommend is to run NO carriers. But that's just my opinion. Keep in mind that I was one of the folks running official demonstrations at PAX East this year, and I agree that using the typical RA-format demo fails this game without some clever handling. Take the plunge and try a full game with all the tools in the toolbox, and you may have a different experience.
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Re: Boarding Rules

Postby Shades_Corvid » Mon Jul 18, 2016 7:43 am

Don't forget you can attack back the following round with White Dice.
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Re: Boarding Rules

Postby VitorFaria » Mon Jul 18, 2016 8:13 am

I never really played IO, but I feel that this just a matter of playing it with an open mind and not trying to play the same strategies we see in RA.

It seems like having many ships far way trying to emulate artillery archetypes in RA might simply not work as well.

And from what I've read from Joshua's posts, frame companies feeling very powerful compared to ships is sort of a point he is trying to make. In the book itself he drops an extremely not subtle hint of that.
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Re: Boarding Rules

Postby CmdrRook » Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:58 am

Companies also have something ships do not. Fuel dependency. Boarded or not, companies become inert when their fuel hits zero, and whatever they've captured returns to its owner's control. Launching a company of frames with one fuel is an unlikely desperate scenario, and having a catapult place them at assault range removes that tactical choice entirely, promoting inaction over action.
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