Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-16-2018, 06:32 AM   #1
JaJacob
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Default Space combat experiences

Hello everyone, after concluding our fantasy campaign, my players got the captain's itch for sci fi adventures.

Now, I don't have any books besides ultra tech, so I'm wondering if you have good experiences using some of the spaceship combat systems in gurps.

I'm gonna run similar setting as Shadows of Sol - some hard scifi elements like reaction drives and tracking delta v requirements, no artificial gravity and some horror super science elements like genetic monsters.

Space ship combat won't be central part of the campaign, but it might be main component of single (or few) sessions. Weapons available are rail guns, classic guns and missiles (as well as nukes). I just don't want to have whole combat revolve around few pilot/gunner rolls.

From what I read, there are few options:

Spaceships 4e - seems like a obvious choice, but complicated and bogged with rolls and modifiers (do you really roll all guns separately?), also after searching for days, I could only find few combat examples and few opinions along the lines of "I don't think it's actually playable". It seems you also get almost immediately destroyed with the high damage.

Space Opera Combat System - I only found snippets, seems completely abstract with no damage rolls, instead GM narrates everything. The few people seem to like it, but then again it's almost impossible to find any detailed information.

Just using Basic - Well I thought about just going with basic and make up some additions for players to do. Although I have no idea about possible stats for the various ships and weapons.

So, experienced GMs. What system do you actually use or would you in my case?
JaJacob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2018, 06:38 AM   #2
Humabout
 
Humabout's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Default Re: Space combat experiences

Take a look at the Chase rules from Action 2 - Exploits. Those are easily adapted, streamlined, and a blast.
__________________
Buy My Stuff!

Free Stuff:
Dungeon Action!
Totem Spirits

My Blog: Above the Flatline.
Humabout is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2018, 09:29 AM   #3
Stormcrow
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ronkonkoma, NY
Default Re: Space combat experiences

The combat system in Spaceships is quite playable, but its value depends on what you want to get out of spaceship combat.

If you want a team effort in which each PC can do his or her bit, it works great.

If you want an experience in which each PC gets to blow up an enemy spaceship separately, it won't do unless each PC is flying his or her own fighter.

It assumes relatively complex spaceships, not completely cinematic metal shells swooping around going PEW! PEW! PEW! It's got some cinematic options, but there are limits. At a certain cinematic point, it makes more sense just to make up the action in your heads.

It's not hard to play, but it does take a bit of getting used to until you fully understand how the different maneuvers affect what you can do.

Besides the obvious need for pilots and gunners, you also need sensor operators, because getting accurate information about the enemy ships gives you bonuses to hit them and knowledge of where they're vulnerable, engineers, to route limited power to systems that need it and to operate force fields if you have them, and damage control workers, and leaders, who not only tell everyone what to do, but give them bonuses to their own rolls.

If you want to break space combat into these tasks, Spaceships is excellent. If you want to go ZOOM! ZOOM! PEW! PEW! PEW!, it's unnecessary.

I tried Spaceships combat with Tales of the Solar Patrol for a while, and finally realized I just wanted to go zoom! and pew!, so I dropped it.
Stormcrow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2018, 09:40 AM   #4
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: Space combat experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by JaJacob View Post
Spaceships 4e - seems like a obvious choice, but complicated and bogged with rolls and modifiers (do you really roll all guns separately?),
No. You use the 4e rapid fire rules. Aty least for all guns of one type.

If you really want to track Delta-V Spaceships is built around this. Anybody who thinks Spaceships is complex can't handle anything more complex than the old Star Wars system. Your weapons mix is included.

Space Opera Combat System is 3e and is contained (in full) in Compendium II. I believe it originated in Lensman. I have no experience using it.
__________________
Fred Brackin
Fred Brackin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2018, 09:42 AM   #5
mlangsdorf
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Austin, TX
Default Re: Space combat experiences

Another option would be adapting Mass Combat. The core of Mass Combat is a Strategy contest, modified by relative force ratios and each commander's choice of one of fourteen abstract strategy types (like All-Out Attack or Mobile Defense).

It would be a little unconventional, but you could modify it to handle space battles. Each PC commands one or more ships against one or more enemy ships. Ships get class superiority bonuses for Armor, Beams, Maneuverability, Missiles, Sensors, Speed, and Rail Guns instead of the usual Air, Armor, Artillery, Fire, etc.

You'd have to play around with, but I think you could get something that was quick to play, interesting, fun, and more than a few Gunnery or Piloting rolls. It'd still be abstract, though.
__________________
Read my GURPS blog: http://noschoolgrognard.blogspot.com
mlangsdorf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2018, 11:02 AM   #6
Shostak
 
Shostak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: New England
Default Re: Space combat experiences

In addition to the combat rules in Spaceships are the expanded rules found in Spaceships 3: Warships and Space Pirates. These call for utilizing a hex-board and counters to help track movement and visualize battles. And the book comes with several pre-designed ships, which can be handy.
Shostak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2018, 01:09 PM   #7
Ulzgoroth
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: Space combat experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
No. You use the 4e rapid fire rules. Aty least for all guns of one type.
"All identical fixed mount weapons in the same battery" or (equivalently) "all identical fixed mount weapons in a major, medium, secondary, or tertiary battery."

You cannot fire more than "a single turret weapon" as a single attack, per the rules.

I thought you could combine identical fixed mount weapons across multiple batteries in the same facing. Can't find that in Spaceships at the moment though?
__________________
I don't know any 3e, so there is no chance that I am talking about 3e rules by accident.
Ulzgoroth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2018, 04:10 PM   #8
Phantasm
 
Phantasm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: On the road again...
Default Re: Space combat experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
I thought you could combine identical fixed mount weapons across multiple batteries in the same facing. Can't find that in Spaceships at the moment though?
Several of the SM +4 to SM +6 expy craft in SS4 appear to work on that assumption, though I don't have the book on my phone to check the wording. The big question seems to be: does it break anything to treat multiple identical same-facing batteries as one? On small craft, I don't think it does, and can keep things simpler (and faster) in play by doing so. Larger craft, however, are a bit of a crapshoot, especially if you've got ten tertiary batteries of two SMs smaller in each of three or more hull locations (such as an SM +16 craft meant to face SM +10s, ala a Star Destroyer vs a Corellian Corvette).
__________________
"But mom, I don't wanna go back in the dungeon!"

The GURPS Marvel Universe Reboot Project and its not-a-wiki-really web adaptation.
Ranoc, a Muskets-and-Magery Renaissance Fantasy Setting
Phantasm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2018, 04:59 PM   #9
Ulzgoroth
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: Space combat experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantasm View Post
Several of the SM +4 to SM +6 expy craft in SS4 appear to work on that assumption, though I don't have the book on my phone to check the wording. The big question seems to be: does it break anything to treat multiple identical same-facing batteries as one? On small craft, I don't think it does, and can keep things simpler (and faster) in play by doing so. Larger craft, however, are a bit of a crapshoot, especially if you've got ten tertiary batteries of two SMs smaller in each of three or more hull locations (such as an SM +16 craft meant to face SM +10s, ala a Star Destroyer vs a Corellian Corvette).
I don't really believe in 'breaking things' on this level, but the answer is almost certainly that it doesn't. In most circumstances adding together weapons makes them weaker, so it won't be overpowered. And it seems unlikely that many ships of sufficient size to have multiple gunners will also have multiple identical fixed batteries, so no ships will likely be penalized by being forced to combine weapons they would prefer not to.

And, as people have noted before, it doesn't really make any sense that a single gunner can't direct multiple turrets, let alone multiple 'fixed' guns in moderately separated mountings. So I certainly would raise no simulationism complaint at allowing it.
__________________
I don't know any 3e, so there is no chance that I am talking about 3e rules by accident.
Ulzgoroth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2018, 02:59 AM   #10
JaJacob
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Default Re: Space combat experiences

Thanks for the replies.

Spaceships sound better than I thought, but I'm leaning towards something more fast paced in combat and leave delta v for travel and ballpark fuel after combat.

Now using chase rules or mass combat, that's pretty interesting. And I already own the books :P.

I'm gonna start with Chase and see what I can get.

The other part of the problem would be figuring out some ship stats for combat. I'm not sure if it's worth it to just get Spaceships anyway only for that, though I assume it's a big part of the book.

Afaik there are only 2 ships in the whole basic and no suggestions on making them. I was thinking to make the ships as characters and their equipment either as advantages and innate attacks, then just convert the points to $ or use the one from ultra tech.
JaJacob is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:15 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.