Galactic Battlecruisers – Part 5: Weapons
by Diego Beltrami
Pew pew pew! Bzzzzt! and the like. Weapons are all about damaging the enemy, and in a game where the objective is to destroy the opponent, they are pretty important.
Weapons have several characteristics relevant to their functioning. Let’s start by seeing the ones that are related to positioning:
Weapons are the orange things. As you can see, this image (which is actually the player ship that’s used in the board) tells us three things about weapons: first their placement, secondly their aiming arc and lastly their range which is divided in three values, long, medium and short.
Range is measured in tile length but they don’t actually move in tiles, because of the angles some shots would end up taking more tiles than others when they shouldn’t. So they move in a linear fashion. For now we’re using the aid of a ruler to measure line of sight and range. It’s not a bad system but I’m on the lookout for improvements.
Guns are positioned in a fashion that doesn’t let the player fire all weapons at once. It forces the player to go broadside in order to be able to bear most guns at a time, but a frontal assault can be much more powerful as the frontal weapon is (supposedly) quite deadly.
In the first iteration the weapons worked like this: You choose a weapon to use and a sector to attack. Check distance and angle of attack. You throw a ten sided dice and apply modifiers that depend on the range (displayed on the weapon cards). If the value was equal to five or more it was a hit. Then the other player could use an evasive manoeuvre to make you roll the dice again or try to neglect the damage by using a shield. He rolled a ten sided dice and applied modifiers, including shield penetration, a weapon property. If he rolled five or more the damage was neglected. This meant that weapons with more shield penetration were better much like longer ranges.
Problem with this system is that there wasn’t many hits, so ships stayed unharmed most of the time. Next iteration will see some changes and I’ll try to dispense with dice rolls. This game is about tactics, so I want to keep randomness to a minimum. Also a problem with this system is that changing the dice values so hits happened more often it would make it seem that that weapons were either too deadly or the shield useless. But we’ll talk about changes later.
In this system the idea was about balancing the amount of guns being able to bear with range and shield penetration.
But sometimes weapons aren’t enough. Maybe the enemy is protecting a subsystem by facing you in another direction or tries to avoid you, fortunately weapons aren’t the only way to attack the enemy.
In the next entry we’ll cover drone fighters.