IKVAvenger's House Rules Thread (both tested and in play test)

Federation: ASW System

We have incorporated the ASW (Anti-Seeking Weapon) system on all Federation ships. The ASW functions as per the ADD on the G-rack i.e. the same to-hit and damage on drones. Against a plasma torpedo (or any seeking weapon that operates like a plasma torpedo i.e. QWT) it does 6 points of 'phaser' damage which = 3 points off the plasma warhead. Same to-hit and ranges as per the ADD chart. It does not fire a phaser. The electrical discharge is 'phased' energy that affects the plasma warhead in the same manner as a normal phaser.

The amount of ammunition is the same as an ADD i.e. 8 rounds on the G-rack.

We have play tested this house rule extensively and it works quite well. It is not OP against BP but provides a small measure of defense against plasma users in the same manner as it provides a small measure of protection against drone users. It lends itself towards the ubiquitous nature of the Federation.

Lyran: ESG interaction with

Lyran: ESG interaction with Plasma Torpedoes and Quantum Wave Torpedoes.

Plasma torpedoes consist of matter on the brink of being converted to total energy. They interact, in game terms, with both matter (drones, shuttles, ships etc) and energy (they can ram a ship with shields and will damage those shields prior to damaging the ship). ESG's will damage plasma torpedoes on a 2:1 basis just as phaser damage.

An ESG will interact with a QWT on a 3:1 basis just as phaser damage. A QWT will be damaged in the same manner i.e. the splash elements are taken out first and then the main element. Full damage is required, as per the rules, to take out a QWT.

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Paravian: QWT firing

Paravian: QWT firing arcs.

Much discussion ensued last year on the FA firing arc of the QWT, both in regards to tournament and regular SFB. ADB made a semi-official ruling that the QWT can only be fired out of the #1 shield facing. The issue apparently had never come up in playtesting. Apparently some playtest groups used only the #1 shield facing and others used the normal FA arc which means the QWT can fire out of the 6/1/2 facings. This is a substantial difference. After the semi-official ruling (which was premature) the Paravian designer stated that it was his intention that the QWT fire out of the normal FA 6/1/2 arc.

Thus the QWT fires out of the normal FA 6/1/2 arc.

APR to AWR refit.

After Y175 all Paravian ships that have APR may have them upgraded to AWR on a 1 BVP per APR basis.

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Seltorian: Modification to

Seltorian: Modification to the Particle Cannon.

The Seltorian PC has the following modifications:

Capacitor has no holding cost.

Firing delay between shots is reduced to 8-impulses.

This has been playtested and has demonstrated that the improvement was beneficial without being OP.

Combined shot: The PC can be fired as a combined shot i.e. one OL and one standard shot combined. The cost is a full capacitor of 5 points plus 1 point of battery power applied from a battery at the moment of firing for a total of 6 points. Maximum range of 8. May be fired at R0. Requires a 32 impulse cool down period before being able to fire again.

This HR is undergoing PT at this time. Initial impressions are that it is not OP and puts it somewhat on the same footing at a partially OL'd photon or OL Ion Cannon. Same lousy range breaks but allows for a somewhat better alpha strike.

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Hydran: Suicide Fusion

Hydran: Suicide Fusion OL.

The suicide fusion OL does not destroy the fusion beam box, nor does it destroy an additional box.

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General: Shield repair.GW

General: Shield repair.

GW era ships are able to repair the shields from turn-to-turn, for free, at half the number of their DC rating. For example, normal CA's have a DC of 4 so they are able to repair 2 shield boxes on ONE damaged shield facing per turn. We do this automatically as a end-of-turn-start-of-turn procedure. There is no energy required as this is a function of the shield generators themselves.

We've been doing this for years. It has had no adverse affect on game play and offers just a bit of assistance that is akin to historical fiction.

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Batteries: Warp energy. If

Batteries: Warp energy.

If warp energy is placed into a ships batteries then it remains as warp energy till used. This eliminates the need to continually cycle warp energy which just adds another thing to do that really doesn't add to the E.A. process.

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IKVAvenger wrote previously:

"This HR is undergoing PT at this time. Initial impressions are that it is not OP and puts it somewhat on the same footing at a partially OL'd photon or OL Ion Cannon. Same lousy range breaks but allows for a somewhat better alpha strike."

Completed two games today using the Seltorian DD vs. the Klingon F5C. The Seltorian gave up 6 PV which could have been compensated using C.O. such as an increased amount of T.B.

The Seltorian lost in each game. Feed back was gained after each game. The combined shot was used in each game, once in the first and twice in the second. It did not proved to be OP in either game and the range break was what really hurt the Selt whether the shot was standard, OL or combined. The second combined shot (which was the first shot of the second game) was a double miss. So that is a lot of power for nothing, but that goes for any HW that isn't the best hitter i.e. photon. So overall, the combined shot does help the Selt without making it OP.

The downfall in both games was drones. However, my son was playing the Klingon and he's our resident Kzinti player so he knows what he'd doing with drones. I had to get close, too close to have a decent hope of hitting with my initial alpha. I may need to adopt some different tactics such as using some long rang standard shots to soften up some shields. In the 9-15 bracket it is an okay weapon as it is 50% for 3 damage. In this regards it is somewhat comparable, though still inferior, to the disruptor. But a few softening turns may help.

So overall feedback is the combine shot is a reasonable modification and we will incorporate it as a standard HR.

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Hydran: Suicide

Hydran: Suicide Overloads.

This seems to be a seldom used option for the Hydrans. It is expensive, can't be held, destroys the weapon and does and internal point of damage. No wonder it is seldom used. The rationale is that it is a last ditch weapon, but if it's a last ditch situation then the vessel may not likely have the energy to utilize it anyway. In our opinion these are far too many restrictions that aren't applied to other weapon systems that are similar. As a point of comparison, the Sting Torpedo from Omega (Hivers HW) can fire standard, overload and double overload for the corresponding costs of 2, 4 and 7 points of energy (same as a standard, overloaded and suicide overloaded fusion beam). The Sting Torpedo will do 12 points of damage if it hits (within R4) but can fire again the next turn. The Suicide Fusion will do between 16-26 points of damage (at R0) but destroys the weapon plus a random internal. We find them to be a comparable weapon in regards to energy cost as well as potential two-turn damage (when stretched out to two turns).

So our HR is to redesignate the Suicide Overload as the Double Overload. It will continue to cost 7 points of power. It will require the same one-turn cool down as per regular overloaded fusions. It will NOT destroy the weapon, nor cause a random point of internal damage. The high one-turn cost of the weapon combined with the one-turn cool down and required close range is enough of a restriction on this weapon, in our opinion.

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Weapons: Feedback We do not

Weapons: Feedback

We do not use the feedback rule that some weapons have when fired at close range. One hex on the game board is 10K kilometers long, thus even if two ships are in the same hex they are still likely hundreds or thousands of miles apart. So any weapon which would normally have feedback damage when fired at R0 do not incur this penalty.

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General: Damage Control. DC

General: Damage Control.

DC is not limited to the total of the DC rating. As an example, a normal CA has a DC rating of 4, but can repair more than 4 systems during the course of a scenario, time permitting of course.

Repair points are cumulative.

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Federation: Photon

Federation: Photon Torpedo

JE1.2 Overloaded enhanced photons: Photons have enhanced proximity fuse technology built into the warhead. This does not guarantee a hit, but slightly improves the possibility of the photon detecting enough reflected scanner energy from the target to turn a clean miss into at least a proximal hit due to the warhead exploding. A roll of one over the required to-hit provides this possibility.

Using R8 as an example for an overloaded shot:

Die roll of 1-3 indicates a normal hit that yields full warhead damage.
Die roll of 4 is a miss but has the potential of the enhanced proximity fuse going off as the warhead is passing close enough to the target to provide the opportunity.
Die roll of 5-6 indicates a clean miss by a country mile.

Results of a die roll of 4: Roll a second die. Die roll of 1-3 indicates the enhanced proximity fuse didn't detect enough reflected scanner energy to explode. Die roll of 4 = 2 points of damage as the warhead detects the target and explodes at the farthest point from the target that still allows damage to be scored. Die roll of 5 = 4 points of damage as the warhead detects the target and explodes at normal proximity ranges from the target. Die roll of 6 = half warhead (up to 8 points if the warhead was fully overloaded) as the warhead missed the target but detected the reflected scanner energy of the target very close to the target and explodes.

For a standard loaded photon, same principle applies but as follows:

Again using R8 as an example, 1-3 indicates a normal hit. Roll of 4 allows for a second roll as detailed below. A roll of 5-6 indicated a clean miss.

Die roll of 1-3 = miss
Die roll of 4 = 1 point of damage
Die roll of 5 = 2 points of damage
Die roll of 6 = 4 points of damage

In this way, the to-hit is not changed but does allow for a small possibility that the warhead will be somewhere between slightly effective to somewhat effective. Again, makes the photon less of a one-trick pony and puts a little excitement into it with the second die roll. I think this is a workable proposal.

JE1.1 Enhanced photon proximity fuse: The to-hit is not changed.

Die roll of 1 indicates full damage (8 points) as the reflected scanner energy of the target was strong enough to attract the photon for a direct hit. In other words, even though the photon was fired with a proximity fuse it exploded close enough to the target to cause full damage.

Die roll of 2 indicates partial damage (6 points) as it exploded in VERY close proximity.

Die rolls of 3 or 4 indicated normal proximal hit (4 points)

Die roll of 5 or 6 indicate clean misses.


Die roll of 1 = 6 damage.

Die rolls of 2 or 3 = normal 4 damage.

Die rolls of 4-6 = clean misses.

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General: Suicide Shuttles We

General: Suicide Shuttles

We do a different version of the SS. A standard-canon SS can hold up to 9 points of warp power. That's a lot of power for a tiny shuttle to just 'hold'. 9 points can move a Starship 90,000km or power all four disruptors with a point to spare. Compare this to a GW era battery that is probably the size of a shuttle, yet can only hold 1 point of power. So it simply didn't make a lot of sense.

So our HR SS is a normal admin shuttle that has had a T-bomb loaded into it and had it jacked to the sensors so it can sense the target and detonate. It will do the 10 points of damage a normal T-bomb would yield at R0. It does not cost anything accept time i.e. three turns for a ships DC to load it up and hook it up. No energy cost.

The T-bomb is from the ships stores or can be purchased as part of C.O..

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General: Wild Weasel WW do

General: Wild Weasel

WW do not cost any power in EA. There is no reason that it should as it is simple electronics hooked into the sensors to project 'noise' to confuse seeking weapons. The power the shuttle normally generates would be sufficient to power such equipment.

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ISC: Plasmatic Pulsar

ISC: Plasmatic Pulsar Carbine

We've removed the Plasma S's on ISC ships in favor of the PPC (Plasmatic Pulsar Carbine - courtesy of a member here). It still has the PPD as normal.

A PPC is basically 'half' of a PPD. This makes the ISC more of a PPD/PPC race than just another BP race.

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And I should add, in regard

And I should add, in regard to the PPC that it is used on the smaller ships in favor of the Type F or G plasmas. This again provides racial flavor throughout the class of ships. It is quite effective for the smaller ship classes but we have not found it to be OP.

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House Keeping Costs

We've simplified house keeping costs.

Using a CA sized vessel as an example, currently 1 point of power is needed to power minimum shields or 36 boxes. And another point to power full shields which is in the area of 144 boxes. So 1 point will give you 36 boxes but one more point will give you another 100+ boxes. We don't see it as a necessary function of the game. In 29 years of playing the game I've never used, nor seen minimum shields used. So shields are simply 1 point for full, this frees up 1 point.

Same with life support and fire control. A point each!?! That is just unnecessary as well. So again, in our FTF games 'ships functions' cost a point on a CA sized vessel. That point is enough to run life support, scanners, fire control, the coffee maker and whatever else needs powering. That frees up an additional point, so basically its 2 points total for HK on a CA sized ship. Two points is substantial and quite useful. Combine this with something like the WGS and you've got quite a bit of extra power to do additional things/tactics in the game. Makes the game quicker and allows for more options that normally would be quite rare.

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Orion Pirates

We have the Orion pirates. But they are not canon by any means. First, they don't double their engines. That's pretty stupid. I find it hard to believe that the Orions can do something that every other major military can't also do. And even if they haven't put the $ into developing it, how many Orion ships have been crippled or captured to be studied? Lots of them. Plus, Orions are going up against lightly shielded freighter with almost no weapons so they wouldn't need to double their engines anyway. Nor would they need it to escape as it doesn't make the ship go faster.

Secondly, they were never meant to go up against war ships. They should run from them like they were on fire. Canon pirates can double the engines and charge in with military grade weapons locked and loaded. Poppycock. Militaries would safe guard their weaponry and various systems so that every pirate isn't running around with photons and drones and cloaking devices etc. Having an actual military grade heavy weapon would/should be a rarity. And those would be the enforcer type ships, not the average raider. And if a shipment of drones or photons or cloaking devices did get waylaid you can be the responding military would form a man-hunt to find them. A pirate should mainly have ph-3 armament with some ph-2's for a longer range punch. And as for a HW, something quite simple and generic like a 'blaster' which does fine against a freighter but not much of a threat to an Empire's cruisers (or even destroyers or frigates). Even with mostly ph-3's and a ph-2 (perhaps 2xph-2) and some 'blaster' weapons (that don't OL) they'd be quite capable against a number of freighters as they are better shielded and that armament is more than sufficient for their intended target.

Might miff the Orion players that like to go against the other ships with engines doubled, weapons cocked-n-locked and the cloak ready to go. But not at all realistic even for this game.

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TL:DR Orions are nuts in SFB, you are generous to give them more than hand phasers.

Given their national guard ships, I think it's plausible for pirate ships stoled/borrowed from the fleet to have standard phasers and photons. Your typical freighter, however...

It's not OK for them to have singular access to engine doubling. If the design is that different from standard warship engines, fine. There are still specialty ships that would greatly benefit from them, yet NO ONE ELSE ever did so. It's not extra-galactic alien technology.

It's not OK for them to have singular access to stealth tech, for the same reasons.

It's not OK to have broad access to ship designs that allow for plug-and-pray weapons. Partially mitigated by the introduction of option boxes in the rest of the fleets, but still - where do they get access to remove and replace the weapons?

That leads to - it's NOT OK that the Federation (let alone any other power who had an opportunity) gives the ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ about the Orion enclave. Cut off the source of support and let the pirates try to make hay as true independents. It's such a blatant excuse for "we like the Orion ships" that it's the same ridiculous Deus Ex Machina that exists for other reasons why The Way Things Are.

Now that I've written all that out - yeah, I can't argue against giving outlaws and pirates more than up-gunned freighters, barring a couple of unique ships. Space is big, but fleets are small, and pirates have to go to the fleets to get anything valuable. Let's put it this way: If it was truly as easy to be a pirate as is presented, it's also that easy for military units to do it. Why they choose not to do so is - a mystery.

And none of this even touches the mercenary aspect, which is it's own giant box of Pandora.

More Pirates

Not to be an apologist here, but there are some reasons why the Orions are the way they are.

In the episode that introduced the Orions, they were described as making attack runs at very high speeds (speeds the enterprise thought was improbably high) and with a full boat of weapons armed. The game designers decided that Warp Doubling was the way to go - with handwavium along the lines that the Pirates were doing things to the engines that no self-respecting navy engineer would think of doing, even under dire circumstances. It gets hard to do a five-year mission if you blow off half the engines in the first encounter. The logistical and mantainance nightmare would destroy the ability to stay out for any length of time - something the Pirates don't have to worry about, since anyway they would be seeking repairs after most raids.

The ship's stealth is pretty easily explained by relating it to streamlining; To streamline, you have to put otherwise-functional space in curved lines and inconvenient angles. It makes it hard to stuff everything you want in a small package. Sure, you could use a larger hull for your gear, but that costs alot of money and has other follow-on effects. The Orion ships are, class for class, less able to do anything the navy ships are able to do. They get by because they can Iron-Jaw the navy's first attack and then scoot. They tend to lose if they stick around against a real fighting ship.

If you consider that each pirate ship holds the same weapons suite through most of the life of their owner, then the Option Boxes become less of a hassle. Really, they are intended as a game mechanic to allow the game designers to say "This hull is the same everywhere, except for these weapon boxes" - something the HDWs also did (the APRs and NWOs). You'll note that some Orion ships have weapons that are never changed out (e.g the SAL's drone racks), even though they presumably can be ripped out and replaced.

The Orion Enclave is described as having a special treaty when they joined the Federation. Much like Texas has a few special clauses in their introduction into the Union. As a result, *some* of the things about the Orion Pirates are allowed to slip by in the interest of diplomacy. Indeed, the "Orion Pirates" have occasionally played to the Federation's benefit (such as the "Pirate Invasion" of the Romulan Empire of Y46)

It should be noted that the

It should be noted that the TOS Orion introduction was a suicide ship and not a pirate ship. Per the episode, it was never intended to return to base. The pirate thing is an ADB invention. They took the 'doubling' of a suicide ship, designed to disrupt a political conference and put it into ever 'pirate' ship. And tossed the cloak on for good measure. And then assumed that an entire shipyard capable of actually supplying and repairing these ships would remain undetected by naval fleets that would realistically be pretty intent on making sure they don't exist. And all of that to attack freighters with paper thin shields and maybe a ph-3 or two.

Orion pirates would realistically be more like Somalian pirates i.e. a rag tag assortment using relatively small arms against big, unarmed ships that would never stand a chance against even a small naval vessel.

ADB should have taken the concept of doubling and stealth and simply made an actual empire out of them. And for the love of Pete not give them disruptors. That's another thing ADB seriously dropped the ball on i.e. giving disruptors to half the Alpha quadrant rather than developing unique HW's for each race.

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>>That's another thing ADB seriously dropped the ball on i.e. giving disruptors to half the Alpha quadrant rather than developing unique HW's for each race.>>

Folks complain about that a lot, but really, I never saw the problem.

From a game design perspective, once you hit a certain level of differentiation in guns, trying to further sub divide them is just being complicated for the sake of being complicated.

In the original design of the game, there were basically three heavy weapons:

-Disruptors: Fire every turn, don't do a ton of damage, hit well.

-Photons: Fire every other turn, do twice as much damage, hit a little less often.

-Plasma Torps: Fire every third turn, do a ton of damage, are seeking weapons.

And then everyone has phasers. And some folks have drones.

In terms of play dynamic, those three heavy weapons set up most of the game situations you need to make an interesting game (fire for less damage all the time; fire for more damage less often; fire for a ton of damage, but with a significant rearm time and all the ins and out of seeking weapons). Once you have those three basic dynamics, creating further differentiation is difficult. They got 2 more squeezed in there with the Hydrans (super short range with a lot of damage; enveloping damage), and one more with the ISC (long range, little bit at a time over time) but then you really start sub, sub, sub dividing after that.

Like, I certainly understand that someone might want everyone to have different guns, but at a certain point, it just becomes complication and window dressing for the sake of complication and window dressing. Yeah, the Kzinti could have guns that are like disruptors that do a little less damage but have a little better range brackets (or vice versa), and the Lyrans could have guns that do a little more damage and slightly worse to hit charts, and they'd (and the Klingons) would all have "different" guns, but the basic dynamic would be about the same anyway. And then you got pages and pages of extra rules for not much gain.

Yeah, in Omega, everyone has everything different. And there are a million different guns and phasers to keep track of. Which certainly is something, but also has a whole lot of wildly dubious balance between the various races. You are gaining a *lot* of variation (most of which is pretty extraneous--like, does Omega, which I do like, *really* gain that much by having 10 different types of P1s?) at the cost of a lot of game balance (the Vari are horrible; the Drex are insanely overpowered; etc.)

Like, certainly some amount of variation for the sake of variation is worth while. But at a certain point, it often becomes unwieldy. Which is why a lot of folks having disruptors isn't really a big deal. As even the races that all have disruptors have a significant amount of dynamic variation without having lots of extra rules.

"From a game design

"From a game design perspective, once you hit a certain level of differentiation in guns, trying to further sub divide them is just being complicated for the sake of being complicated."

I don't agree. As you mentioned, the beginnings of the game had three main HW's; photons, disruptors and plasma. Alright, very good start with the 1, 2 and 3 turn arming weapons that have different dynamics. Makes it interesting. But I see it as lazy to then go with the same HW with the Kzinti, Lyrans, Tholians, Frax, some Orions and some WYN (though the WYN is acceptable and the Frax is understandable). The Tholians should have had the PC rather than the disruptor. And yes, I understand that the PC didn't yet exist when the Tholians were developed. But that was an opportunity missed to have something unique.

As far as making it complicated, did the FB and HB make it too complicated? I would say it was very welcome, interesting and unique. Made for new tactics both for and against the Hydrans. That isn't complicated, it expands the game dynamic. Same with the Vudar ion cannons. Same with the Nicozian subspace auger and same with the phaser cannon and mega-phasers. The Lyrans and Kzinti like the Tholians were simply missed opportunities.

Do the Kzin and Lyrans 'work' with disruptors? Sure. Doesn't mean they couldn't have been better from a more unique perspective. Omega has proven that radically different weapons make for a interesting game. And the designer specifically stated that 'perfect' balance wasn't the goal for the various empires. At least ADB made the Lyrans and Kzin have something to compensate for the cloned HW.

I know we've enjoyed Kzin with hyper-drones rather than disrupters and Lyrans armed with PC's (prior to us using Seltorians). Not 'better' than using disruptors, but quite different which was a lot of the fun.

Just my two cents.

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Particle Beams vs. Particle Cannons

As noted above, after discussion here and on the ADB board, we've modified the rules for the Seltorian (Tholian) Particle Cannon. The to-hit/damage chart remains the same. The cost of standard and OL remain the same. The modifications are that the 12-impulse delay is lowered to the normal 8-impulse delay and the PC may do a 'combined shot' which simply combines the OL and standard shot (only shot of the turn) at a cost of 5 + 1 from battery at the time of firing. 32-impulse cool down delay.

I'm looking at changing this somewhat based upon characteristics of the PB.

The Particle Beam is a one-turn weapon like the PC. It has an 8-impulse delay and can fire up to twice per turn. One point allows for a standard shot. Two points allows for either two standard shots or one OL shot. Three points allows for one of each and four points allow two OL shots. The range breaks are similar but the PB is a bit better overall though the damage done is slightly less. Both have a 0 range break. The PC has a 1 whereas the PB is 1-2 (both for a 1-5 to-hit). The PC has a 2 and 3-4 (1-4 to-hit) whereas the PB has a 3-4 and 5-6 for the same 1-4 to-hit. PC has 5-8 and 9-15 for 1-3 to-hit while the PB has 7-8, 9-15 and 16-24 for the same 1-3 to-hit. As noted the PB is slightly less damage. Overall the PB is a superior weapon to the PC.

I'm thinking that a 32-impulse delay for the PC cool down is unnecessary. I'm also thinking that the 1 point from the battery at the time of firing is unnecessary. With this line of thinking, at R8 the PC with a combined shot would do 9 points of damage in one turn at a cost of 5 points of power, whereas the PB, if able to get in both OL shots can do 8 points of damage for 4 points of power. At best, the PC will do 12 points and the PB will also do 12 points (if both OL shots get in).

That would put the PC a bit more in line with the PB but still be somewhat unique from each other. That's my conclusion at the moment while I evaluate both weapon systems.

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>>I don't agree. As you mentioned, the beginnings of the game had three main HW's; photons, disruptors and plasma. Alright, very good start with the 1, 2 and 3 turn arming weapons that have different dynamics. Makes it interesting. But I see it as lazy to then go with the same HW with the Kzinti, Lyrans, Tholians, Frax, some Orions and some WYN (though the WYN is acceptable and the Frax is understandable). The Tholians should have had the PC rather than the disruptor. And yes, I understand that the PC didn't yet exist when the Tholians were developed. But that was an opportunity missed to have something unique.>>

Sure. Clearly, people like different things in their games. Like, I'm not overwhelmed by the need for everyone in this game to have different guns. You like that sort of thing. Which is great, and keep doing what you are doing. But from the "we are designing a game" standpoint, doing something like giving a bunch of people disruptors is perfectly sensible. And not at all unreasonable.

As noted, in, say, Omega, everyone has different everything. Which on the one hand is exactly what you want to see. But on the other hand, it makes it really difficult to balance things, and, well, as a result, there is very questionable balance in Omega, making some of the races virtually unplayable (without a lot of extra fiddling and modifying) and some of the races way too powerful. Which isn't horrible, but actually kind of limits the use you can get out of it in a realistic sense--yeah, Omega 1 has, like, 13 races in it, each with wildly different technologies, but about half of them aren't realistically playable as anything other than a lark.

So yeah, you would like the game to have different stuff for everyone. I'm totally happy with a limit to the variation, in the name of things working a little smoother and it being easier to balance. Like, I don't think everyone having disruptors is a "flaw" to the game as much as a "reasonable compromise that works fine".

In regards to Omega, we need

In regards to Omega, we need to remember that Bruce specifically designed it not to have cookie-cutter balance. Doesn't mean it should/would have wild extremes but perhaps more challenging. How well it was playtested is anyone's guess. But then how well any of the modules are playtested is anyone's guess. That part of the process is extremely subjective and can vary wildly from group to group. And Omega doesn't have the track record or following of Alpha for folks to really get into the nitty-gritty of tactics and strategy. Are the Vari weak? Perhaps. But IIRC you took an indepth look at the PB and actually started liking it overall. If it wasn't you it was someone here a while back that broke it down very well.

At any rate, is Alpha playable with so many disruptor races? Sure. Was it the best solution? Well, that's the debate. Mute point either way as it is what it is if you play cannon. Talking with the main players in our FTF group they would like to go back to Hyper-drones for the Kzinti rather than Disruptors. Our Lyrans use to use the PC but that was prior to our use of the Selts. The conclusion is to find another appropriate weapon for the Lyrans. Something similar to the Disruptor so they don't become OP.

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Found it

You had a great write up on the PB last year Peter:

"So in messing around with the Vari:

-Particle Beams: These are not actually that horrible, given that they can fire twice per turn/once every 8 impulses (which is significantly better than the Particle Canons). They are actually more energy efficient than Disruptors most of the time:

Range 0: 3 damage/energy (disr do 2.5)
Range 1-2: 2.5 dmg/energy (disr do 2)
Range 3-4: 2 dmg/energy (disr do 1.3)
Range 5-6: 1.3 dmg/energy (disr do 1)
Range 7-15: 1 dmg/energy (disr are 1)

But they lack crunch power (at R1, an OL is hitting for 6 damage, where a disruptor is doing 10 for twice the power). If you can fire them a lot, it adds up, and Particle Beams will eventually come out ahead of disruptors. But that is hard to do, as you can't hold them, so you have to spend a lot of energy arming them every turn (but then, Disruptors have the same problem. But also are harder hitting in any given shot). In a close knife fight, PBs actually can be pretty good.

I think if you could hold them (pay 1/2 the power in the gun to hold; so if you put 4 in to the PB on turn N and don't fire it, you can hold that power for 2 on the next turn), they'd actually be pretty good.

-Particle Probes: These are clever little guns (they allow you to basically do 3 damage through any down shield as long as your opponent is within 6 hexes) with all sorts of problems. They are relatively expensive to arm (1+2 power for a single Particle Beam) and you can't hold them. You can only launch 1 per turn ever, even with multiple PP launchers. On the upside, you can always just fire one to get an extra PB in your volley. On the down side, putting 3 power into 2 of these per turn (one with 1 power to fire next turn, one with 2 to fire now) is really unlikely. Best case scenario, you have one armed for 2 power the turn your are engaging and can get a small, auto second mizia volley.

Much like the Particle Beams, if you could hold them (1 power, say), they wouldn't be that bad.

-Particle Phasers: Very random, but with some lucky dice in close, they can do a lot of damage. In close, they are a little better, on average, than P1s. Out past, like, R3, they are a little worse. But if you get a couple 1's or 2's in any volley, you can do a lot of damage."

With all that in mind, they are generally comparable with the Selts PC. Though as you point out they lack in one-shot crunch power. This is where the PC combined shot can start to make more of a difference. With the PC combined shot you can get from 9-12 points of damage in one-shot. That isn't terrible at all and comparable with the Disruptor or Ion Cannon (but with worse range breaks).

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser


Bringing this back up to the top as I'll be using it shortly and it makes it easy to find.

As far as the Seltorian PC, we will begin some PT of the newest consideration:

* 8-impulse delay rather than 12.

* No hold cost of the cap.

* Combined shot costs a full cap, no cool down.

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser