IKV Avenger's HR playtest thread

In recent games we've had a chance to further playtest several of our House Rules as detailed in my HR thread. Specifically the Enhanced Photon HR and the ASW system for the Feds, revised HK costs and finally the warp gear shift. A recap of both HR's:

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.

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.

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. On a frigate sized ship it is .5 points of power for each (Life Support and Shields).

And last is the Warp Gearshift.


The enhanced photon rule continues to show itself a small remedy to the problem of the photon being a wonder weapon i.e. I wonder if it's going to hit or not. In the case of this game the Fed missed on both his photon shots but the Enhanced Photon rule allowed one to hit for partial damage. Wasn't a game changer in this scenario but did allow for it to be a tad more exciting and wasn't OP in any way. We'll continue to use it.

ASW system worked fine as normal. Only used against drones in this scenario.

Revised HK costs continue to prove to be the right 'fix'. It allows an extra .5 to 1 point (or a tad more on DN/BB) which does make a small but not OP difference.

Warp gear shift continues to prove to be a valuable optional rule. I continue to believe that if this had been instituted at the very start of SFB it would have been instrumental in various strategy and tactics and players would have rebelled against the way it's normally done. It is a savings in power that can be use other places on the ship. Again, definitely not OP but does allow a more interesting game.

Any questions please ask and I'll detail further.