New Race: Minelayers

New Race

What is best way to introduce a new race? And what kind of background would I need to give?

I have worked on a new race for about the last 15 years and would like other to give comments. I want to know what others think. I gone through many alterations through these years, but think I final have what I want to introduce.

Up to you how to do it

Could give an intro on the race, where they fit in the galaxy, who they ally with, who they fight, what sort of tech they use. And maybe give us a look at a CA SSD.

Then be prepared for some to knock everything, while others will be happy to give helpful comments.

the problem with new races in the alpha sector

is making them interesting and yet explaining why they haven't been a major player in the history, despite having a fleet.

if I were to put serious effort into new races for SFB, I'd be going straight to the 'unused' sectors from the one map.... sigma, the sargasso, etc...

Major Players

Not all races have to be major players. You could have them tucked away near the Hydran Old Colonies, or the Lyran Far Stars, Kzinti Barony, Federation northern area (not sure what its called), Gorn, or even out by the ISC.

You could have them operate for a period of time, before being wiped out in Y1xx.

If you stick them in some unknown bit of space, it makes working out their competitors more difficult. Unless your plan was to create an entire new sector of races - like Omega or Magellanic.

I suppose

you could go for the 'out in the middle of nowhere' approach yes. It'd even work well for a singleton race I suppose. That's basically how they did the Vudar, though instead of being a factor and dying off, they started out small, got conquered, and then threw off the yoke of oppression while their overlords were busy getting their butss kicked in the General War

I guess I'm just used to painting with the broad brush (I'm a habitually Dungeon/Game master in my other dice rolling hobbies). If I'm going to do a race, I'm probably going to do several and start populating a sector.

New race discussion -> Changes, Modifications & New Ideas

Mr BuddaDude,

I suggest you go to the Changes, Modifications & New Ideas forum:

... and click the link at the top to "Post new Forum topic".

I would also suggest you give it the name "New Race: The {name you choose for this new race}". That way, it will be very easy for folks to know where to go to read and contribute.


Thanks guys

DC, Thanks for the link to forum/59.

I actually want them to be a reclusive race near the Hydran space. But it really doesn't matter where they go. They are like the Wynn, but instead of hiding in a radiation cloud, they are behind a vast mine field.

Mine Field

Could it be cleared and then they are open to attack? Or are there other things stopping the Hydrans (or Klingons/Lyrans) from wandering in to their space and fighting for their systems?

Mine Field

Any mine field can be cleared. But now you are getting into one of the two unique weapons systems they have - the Mine Caster. I envision it be able to throw a NSM up to 31 hexes at speed 31, but in a direct line so it is not a seeking type weapon. However throwing one that distance take 11 power points. My thought is each mine has a WARP field generator with a high capacity capacitor (up to 10 points). Since it has a capacitor (vs. battery), if it is not launch that turn, the energy put in is wasted. The first power point is used to launch the mine. Each additional power (capacity charge) put in maintain the mine's WARP field for 3 additional impulsed. So one point will launch the mine 1 hex (only good if someone is chasing you close), 2 for 4 hexes and so on until 11 powers points gets you 31 hexes. All current mine rule still work for detonation too. Just realize the mine det zone could move into a ship and doesn't have to wait for a ship to move into it. Once the capacitor runs out, the mine loses it's WARP, slows and stablizes and acts as a normal mine.

While they are at WARP thoug, they should be easier to detect and shoot. So at the at WARP should be like firing at a drone.

They can use this to replenish a mine field fairly easily. Only the ship that I put this on though are the Battlecrusier (2), Crusier (2) and Minelayer (6).


NSMs are used like a catapault?

Is the 2/2/6 the number of NSM they carry? What about regular mines/TB?

The 2/2/6

The 2/2/6 is the number of Mine Casters each of the ship types has. I am still at odds for mine caster's capacity. I want to make it 8 large mines per caster. That's pretty huge though. I really don't think 4 mine is it's rack is enough though, so probably 5 or 6 (and I like even numbers). I guest you could do a 2 for 1 swap and put in small mines (t-bombs). The power requirements wouldn't change through.

Was thinking more of a rail gun vs. a catapult. But a centrifugal force rotory launcher would work too. One point of power could get the rotation going and needing a whole turn to get up to speed. Then on the second turn apply one point each turn to keep the rotation going. It's all mathematics on when to let it go to get the direction you want. It would also need a turn to spin down so you could reload. You could use an energy recapture system like hybrid car brakes and get back .5 power point during the slow down, but that would be an advanced rule. A plus for a rotory launcher over a rail gun is that once the spin is up, the only limit of how many mines you launch per turn is how many it is loaded with.

Need weapon advice

So I designed the ships I wanted and then took another look. They have the mine caster (small and large), the PASP cannon (not yet discussed), drones and PH-Gs. The MC's and PASP are good range weapons (and overrun) that the race is built around. However I don't know if I want both drones and Gats.

For some background, I would put them near the Hydran Old Colonies. They did not have phasers at all until the Hydrans traded the PH-G for resources to rebuild. I figured that they would have fought enough Klingons to know about drones too. But is having 4 weapons systems too much?

Now for the hard part

Well have think I finally made my finishing touches to the SSDs. I deleted all drones. Pound for pound (box for box), I thought they were to powerful. I also made a need phaser table for a Light Gat. I still gets 4 shots per turn, but with less range and firepower. And it is their most powerful phaser. The webcaster comes in large and small varieties. And I finally settled on the range/damage table for the PASP (Pulsed Augmented Shield Penetrating) Cannon after changing it umpteen times.

Now I have to make their R section. I'm thinking that they should be in the Tholian Home Galaxy. The mine-caster is great for seeding a web and having the PASP being invented to work against web (and shields) would then make sense too.

I can email the SSDs to anyone interested in critiquing them.

Weapons suite

so as I read these discussion boards and interact with people on SFBOL, I see people coming up with vibrant ideas for the game. I, personally, am a poor player with limited knowledge of the game system in its entirety. I have never had desire to add to the game system and am satified with it (though not with my performance interactions with it).

However, as I was at an artistic exhibit I got hit with these ideas and I can't get them out of my head (thank you, Kylie), so I have written them here. Critique and or dismiss at your pleasure, but if I don't write them down publicly they will continue to bug me.

The basic premis is the idea of a race that used an "acid bath" approach to weapon systems (thanks to watching copper etching/printing display), a steady erosion of the opponents shields. They would lack single impulse "crunch power" with direct fire weapons, but would also have a seeking weapon component to their arsenal.

First - phaser type weapons

Phasers would do one point of damage/impulse but would have a "to hit" table based on range to target. After hitting the target they would maintain lock-on similar to the action of the PPD. If you miss on your first attempt to hit, you get to roll again the next impulse similar to a PPD, you however would lose that impulses damage capability. Damage is calculated at one point/impulse to the maximum damage a P1 can dish out at a given range


Range: 1 Chance to hit: 1-6 dam: 1/impulse for a max of 8 impulses. As long as the target is at one hex distant, one point of damage will be inflicted to a max of 8 impulses.

Range: 6-8 Chance to hit: 1-5 Dam: 1/impulse max 4 impulses.

Range: 16-25 chance to hit: 1-2 Dam:1/impulse max 2 impulses.

Now the complication: If you opponent moves to a new range bracket after you have attained phaser lock-on, the duration of your fire changes. For example if your opponent is moving away (example range 8 to range 9) then your fire would be reduced. You fire at R7 as your opponent is moving away 1 hex/ impulse. Impule X fire; 1-5 chance to hit, your roll 6 and miss, impulse X+1, now R8, your fire, roll 4 hit, opponent takes 1 dam, X+2 opponent at R9, no roll as you have locked on, opponent takes one dam, impulse X+3, lock on islost since you max out at 3 dam in ranges 9-15.

Later your opponent is closing on your ship. He is R8 and closing 1 hex/impulse. On impulse Y you fire, rolling a 2 you hit, opponent take 1 dam, impulse Y+1, no roll, opp takes one dam. If the opponent had stayed at R8 he would take 4 dam over four impulses. However as he closes he will take one damage/impulse over 8 impulses because he keeps moving to the new range bracket.

Heavy weapons Direct fire: These would act similar to a cross between the phaser and an EPT but be direct fire. standard load (3+3) would do one point of dam/shield/ impulse for four impulses. Over load (9 points over 2 turns, min 3/turn) Range limit 15! would do 1 dam/shield/impulse for 6 impulses. They would use a to hit table same as the Hellbore.

Seeking weapons. (Disclosure: I love seeking weapons becasue I don't have to rely on my dice to be successful. I get to rely on yours to be unsuccessful). These would come in four flavours. Each is available and determined pre-game. This particular race never was successful at overcoming the physics of shielding so these weapons do half dam when striking even one point of shielding (including gen reinforcement). They take 6 dam to destroy regardless of warhead strength. Each rack could hold 4 weapons. Each individual weapon takes up one space. The Flavours:
1. Sp 8 Warhead 20
2. Sp 17 Warhead 14
3. Sp 23 Warhead 10
4 Sp 32 Warhead 6

I picked odd speeds to allow for launch/move next impulse capability maximization.

So that's the idea. I have no SSDs or any more ideas of how they would be integrated with in the game. I have extremely limited knowledge of LMC or Omega quardant weapon systems so something similar may already exist.

I would figure a standard crusier would have 2 DF and 4 seeking weapons. The number of phasers and their array on the hull, I have no idea. I really haven't given much thought to system/gameplay/opponent interaction.

Tactically, they would try and maintain distance as much as possible and out last their opponent. Once the shields are down they have significant Mizia capability, but lasting to that point would be an issue. As an opponent, i think you would want to close quickly with a big hammer.

One thing that did pop into mind as i was writing this was firing delays. I figure phasers would have the same 8 impulse delay from first firing as standard phasers. With a cooperative enemy and proper timing you could use a phaser to do 1 point of dam/ impulse for 16 consecutive impulses.


a downside

Their phaser-like weapon makes them extremely disadvantaged against anyone with a seeking weapon, since you'll have to fire at them further out in order to guarantee you'll do enough damage to kill them by the time they get to you. Hm, although, now that I think about it, a ph3 at r2 would autokill any regular-sized drone, even on a 6, since it'll do 1 point that impulse, then 3 more once it gets closer...
It bears pondering.

Interesting weapons

Your Pulsed Phaser (PPh) sounds like pretty good weapon. I would change it a little though. First - make it always shoot 8 times no matter the range. Second - give it more than three range settings. Third - limit the number of impulses it can maintain the lock based on the range. My proposed hit table is below. Kind of based it on PH-1s.

Target Range 0-2 3-5 6-8 9-15 16-25 26- 50
Hit # 1-6 1-5 1-4 1-3 1-2 1
Lock Dur 8 6 5 4 2 1

To me it doesn't make since that your PPh would just would just stop firings when it is designed to shot 8 times. But with greater range it should be hard to get the lock and maintain it due to the more finite movements of the barrel. Although you didn't mention it above, I assume you would need a roll when a target moves into a farther range (i.e. 8 to 9). You should put the 8-impulse delay after the last firing too. Here's an idea you might want to think about: linking Pulsed Phasers. Put them in banks of 2 or 3. The can all fire on their own or the can have them fire one after the other. Let's say you target is range 7 (and somehow stays there). You fire 2 linked PPh's. You roll a 4. You hit for 6 impulses, then on impulse 7, you roll a 3. The last 2 shots of the first PPh hit and the first 4 of the linked second PPh. That make three 'To Hit' rolls needed vs. 4 if they were fired separately.

A couple more questions:
Do you intend to be able to switch targets once you start firing?
Any thoughts of making a short-range version that has less range (i.e. max 8) but more shots (i.e 12)?

Your heavy weapon: The one change I think you need to make is to change the max range for overloads to 8 (same as the Hellbore). That seems to be the standard max for most overloaded weapons.

Seekers: no changes needed.

Your number of weapons seems about right. Just make it comparable to all the other races.

Ugh - font spacing

You'll just have to imagine the columns line up in the damage table.

overload range

Overloads standardized at r8 in alpha octant, but in Omega they're all over the place. If you don't want to use r8, then don't feel forced into it by the Feds and Klinks.

Need BPV advice

Trying to figure out what the BPV for my Mine Casters should be. The Large (MC-L) version has a 4 large mine capacity and can cast them out to 31 hexes (though that distance requires 11 power points). The Small caster holds 8 small mines (t-bombs) and can cast them to 14 hexes.

I'm thinking 12 BPV for the MC-L and 8 for the MC-S.

Does that sound too much or about right?

Mine arming

Ok, you have a system that launches NSM and T-bombs thru space in a direct line to a target hex. They cannot be targeted at ships. However, it can target the hex a ship might be in or eventually be in. I think it would arm as a normally dropped mine... as once it gets two hexes away from the launching ship. As it travels from its launch hex to target hex, it may encounter something that meets its detonation requirements and explodes. Does anyone see a problem with this?

I know it is on the no-no list on SFG forum. However, I also have emails from SVC where I talked about it and he didn't say anything negative the system.

Possible cheat

If you can program the explosion requirements such that it blows up on its way to the target, you just created one heck of a seeking weapon.
I'd say make it travel (disarmed) to its destination hex at speed 32 until it arrives and arms itself. Two impulses later it can blow up.
Either that or it uses one mother of a transporter system to arrive there instantly. And if you can do that you amy as well hand it to the Ryn and limit it to r15.

Was thinking that too

But it really isn't a "Seeking" weapon. It would have to go in the most direct path to the target hex. Ships, if they are far enough away, should be able to turn and avoid it. But yes, close in, it can be a whopper. I see that it has three main uses. 1 - being the perfect anti-overrun weapon. 2 - Blockade. You could launch them to surround a base or planet easily. 3 - Battle shaping. I.e.: I'm here to rescue that from you so stay away from it...or... I don't want you to sit in the middle and lob plasmas at me all day, so before you get there, here. Ok 4 - seeding Web. We are old-age Tholian allies, now try to get thru.

Now, we could have it move unarmed, not too much concern there, except for my fighters. But I don't know about want in two impulses to arm, have to think that one over.

Now the Dalian Sway does not use drones. The Sapper fighters can carry two T-Bombs that they can release. The Dredger heavy fighter can carry 4 T-bombs or a 2-T/1-NSM mix. The T-bombs would continue to move for 14 impulses with the heading and speed the fighter had at release. NMS would move the same, except for 31 impulses. So if their T-bombs don't arm until 14 impulses later, I think they would be at a great disadvantage. Just briefly thought about having them arm-on-the-rails, but then you have a great suicide ship, so that is out. Maybe it would work in I have the fighters be able to adjust the coasting time like a ship to where they only move X impulses vs. a constant 14/31.

fighter-launched mines

Or have them move slower. Perhaps limit them to the (un-boosted) speed of the launching fighter?

Easy to Do

Just make it a non-booster pack race. I already made it so their PF don't utilize WBP. Tould make it so the Sappers' T-bombs would move forward for 14 impulses at up to speed 15, while the Dredgers' could move at up to speed 12 for either 14 or 31 impulses.

A squadron could make a nice fence pretty quickly too.