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Old 05-22-2015, 02:59 PM   #1
Chris Goodwin
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon, USA
Default Targeting modifiers

Original post was on the public 6th edition thread; I'm replying here because for this particular bit we're talking about 4th edition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magesmiley View Post
I've raised the targeting modifiers issue before. It is one of the top three items that slows 4th edition Car Wars down. And despite some threads to try to come up with solutions, a silver bullet seems to still be elusive. (And yes, it isn't one that slows me down - I have the modifiers memorized, but my observation is that it slows down anyone who doesn't have it memorized).
I've got some ideas here.

For starters: I'm working on a set of play aids. It's a set of cards that you can print out (edit: a set for each player, each containing a card for each speed increment from 5mph to, say, 200mph). Split down the middle lengthwise; one side is meant to be read by the other people at the table, the other is meant to be read by you. (You can fold it along the center line if you want.)
  • The side to be read by the other people has the speed in big bold numbers and the "to be hit" adjustment for that speed (possibly the phases that speed moves).
  • The side to be read by you has the speed in big bold numbers, the phases you move plus your ram damage, your crash table mod for that speed, and the handling track (edit) for your current speed at the bottom with the "safe / ## / XX" printed. You'll mark your handling status with a paper clip.

The other thing I've been thinking on is redesigning the vehicle record sheet slightly. Next to each armor facing, beside the armor value, is the "to be hit" modifier based on vehicle size and facing combined. You write that down when you write down your armor values; it's always in the same place, relatively easy to find.

Similarly, on your vehicle record sheet, there's a weapon list that calls out each weapon, its damage, ammo load, and modified to hit number. That modified to hit number is based on the gunner skill and computers, if any.

Working out all of these numbers in combat starts with you looking at the modified to hit number for the weapon (which as I said includes gunner skill and computers). You glance at your opponent's card, which shows his "to be hit" number for speed. He glances at his record sheet and calls out the modifier for his size and facing. That does away with about half of the table lookups right there.

I recommend a tape measure or yardstick with distance modifiers pre-marked on it, so you can get a quick range modifier call.

I'm running a game on the 31st with two old Car Wars buddies and two local MIBs who've never played; I'm planning to have a set of the cards for each of them, plus the updated vehicle record sheets, done by then. I will mention how it goes.
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Last edited by Chris Goodwin; 05-22-2015 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 05-22-2015, 03:41 PM   #2
ammulder
 
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Default Re: Targeting modifiers

I just want to add that while the speed/direction chart seems comprehensive, in running the PbP game it seems like as often as not a firer is in two arcs and it ends up being "rule in the defender's favor" which can give an un-merited adjustment.

For instance, two cars going the same direction, one shortly behind the other, but offset to the side enough that each car's firing arc goes down the middle of the other car. Clearly this is two cars going the same direction, and the speed modifier should be minimal. Except technically you rule in the defender's favor, which means you're shooting from front arc to side arc or from back arc to side arc and take the target's full speed modifier.

Or two cars following each other around a turn, temporarily at exactly a 90 degree angle, firing side arc to side arc. If they are heading the same direction there's no speed modifier, but if they're heading "toward each other" it's the full target speed. What if they're exactly perpendicular? And if the front car was just farther around it would be "moving toward each other" even though one car is following the other. Either way seems undesirable.

In other words, for all the supposed additional accuracy of this table, it seems as likely as not to produce a sketchy result, particularly at close ranges. I don't think a huge amount would be lost by just moving to a modifier based on speed and ignoring angles.

(Both examples from the latest round of firing)
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Old 05-22-2015, 03:46 PM   #3
Hawke
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Stevens Point, WI
Default Re: Targeting modifiers

Quote:
Similarly, on your vehicle record sheet, there's a weapon list that calls out each weapon, its damage, ammo load, and modified to hit number. That modified to hit number is based on the gunner skill and computers, if any.
At the risk of having to adjust it on the fly if your computer gets damaged, though. I'd rather keep a single accuracy number which gets combined with the weapon-specific accuracy on the fly, so if necessary it would only need to be updated once during combat.

Quote:
the handling track at the bottom with the "safe / ## / XX" printed. You'll mark your handling status with a paper clip.
How would this work? Wouldn't you need the entire control table at the bottom?
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Old 05-22-2015, 05:16 PM   #4
Chris Goodwin
 
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Default Re: Targeting modifiers

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Originally Posted by Hawke View Post
At the risk of having to adjust it on the fly if your computer gets damaged, though. I'd rather keep a single accuracy number which gets combined with the weapon-specific accuracy on the fly, so if necessary it would only need to be updated once during combat.
I figure it's unlikely but not impossible for someone to lose their computer and still be functional enough to fight without it. If that happens, just mark it down in play.


Quote:
How would this work? Wouldn't you need the entire control table at the bottom?
Each card is for a single speed, and you only need the control table for the speed you're currently going. There's enough room on a 3"x5" card for handling status 7 through -6 for a single speed.

Edit to add: by "set" of cards I mean one for each 5mph increment through, say, 200mph. When you switch speeds, you pull out the card for the new speed, transfer your handling status marker, and continue playing.
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Old 05-22-2015, 05:28 PM   #5
Hawke
 
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Default Re: Targeting modifiers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Goodwin View Post
Edit to add: by "set" of cards I mean one for each 5mph increment through, say, 200mph. When you switch speeds, you pull out the card for the new speed, transfer your handling status marker, and continue playing.
Aha, now I get it. I was thinking a set of cards would be one card per player, not one set per player.

Makes sense now, thanks!
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Old 05-22-2015, 05:30 PM   #6
Chris Goodwin
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Default Re: Targeting modifiers

Quote:
Originally Posted by ammulder View Post
I just want to add that while the speed/direction chart seems comprehensive, in running the PbP game it seems like as often as not a firer is in two arcs and it ends up being "rule in the defender's favor" which can give an un-merited adjustment.

For instance, two cars going the same direction, one shortly behind the other, but offset to the side enough that each car's firing arc goes down the middle of the other car. Clearly this is two cars going the same direction, and the speed modifier should be minimal. Except technically you rule in the defender's favor, which means you're shooting from front arc to side arc or from back arc to side arc and take the target's full speed modifier.
Why isn't the attacker choosing which side of the target he's shooting at?

Quote:
Or two cars following each other around a turn, temporarily at exactly a 90 degree angle, firing side arc to side arc. If they are heading the same direction there's no speed modifier, but if they're heading "toward each other" it's the full target speed. What if they're exactly perpendicular? And if the front car was just farther around it would be "moving toward each other" even though one car is following the other. Either way seems undesirable.

In other words, for all the supposed additional accuracy of this table, it seems as likely as not to produce a sketchy result, particularly at close ranges. I don't think a huge amount would be lost by just moving to a modifier based on speed and ignoring angles.
This may be a sign that the speed vs. arc table needs to be fixed. I'm not addressing any of that with this; all I'm doing is trying to make it easier to find the mods in play that you need. Edit edit edit: And I think the speed vs. direction table probably needs to be more or less scrapped; for ease of play, the speed you're attacking should either be none (for no relative speed) or the target's speed. If they're going the same direction use none, otherwise use the target's speed.
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:11 PM   #7
ammulder
 
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Default Re: Targeting modifiers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Goodwin View Post
Why isn't the attacker choosing which side of the target he's shooting at?
Sorry, to be clear: the attacker chooses which side he's shooting at. But the defender can choose which side to use in consulting the speed/direction chart, which might be different than the location targeted. So in the case where the arc lines cross the opposing vehicle, even if the front car uses a back-mounted weapon to shoot the front of the back car, the back car can say your back is facing my side and therefore you take the full speed penalty instead of the penalty for half the speed difference.
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Old 05-23-2015, 01:53 AM   #8
swordtart
 
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Default Re: Targeting modifiers

Doesn't that asterisk comment only apply for the specific condition where vehicles are side arc to side arc?
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Old 05-23-2015, 05:17 AM   #9
ammulder
 
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Default Re: Targeting modifiers

I'm not sure; I took the second part to apply always.

But it would arguably still apply. It was the two cars in the bottom center of this map. They were front/side to back/side, so there's multiple arcs including sides involved there.
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Old 05-23-2015, 01:30 PM   #10
jimmylogan
 
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Default Re: Targeting modifiers

I personally think that this comes from being an experienced ref or player. Back in the day I would have a yard stick and then have another cut to 4" - another at 8" - another at 12" - etc. That takes care of range.

You take the full one to show arc of fire.

Speed is easy to learn. 30 gives a -1, 40 a -2, etc.

Compact is -1

Front or back is -1

Other things are specific to the instance and the firer should have them noted for his car - base 6, skill +1, hi res computer +2
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