Rules for Other Missile Types in TacOps

Discussion in 'Wing Commander TacOps' started by capi3101, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. capi3101

    capi3101 Rear Admiral

    Messages:
    2,202
    Likes Received:
    173
    Trophy Points:
    26,985
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Norman, OK, USA
    Not sure I should be attempting to post this at 5 AM on the fifth night of graveyard shifts (as evidenced by that generally sucky title), but here goes anyway.

    Howdy all.

    I've been giving some thought to some of the missile types that are not currently in the TacOps rules. I'm sure that somebody has tried to give this a go in the past, but I'm too lazy to go search for myself to see if this is actually the case or not. So, I thought I'd share my opinions on how these missiles would work in the game. Hopefully this will allow some craft to ultimately make their in-game debut.

    Mace Missile: Mace missiles has all of the same properties as dumb-fire missiles. Upon impact or upon reaching their range limit, they detonate with a blast effect that causes 1000 points of damage at the hypocenter, 500 points of damage one range unit away from the hypocenter, and 250 points of damage at two range units away from the hypocenter. At the hypocenter and one range unit away, the missile's blast bypasses Phase Shields.

    Lance Torpedoes (Privateer): Same as dumbfire missiles in all respects, but causes 64 points of damage.

    Leech Missile (WCArmada/WC3): Leech Missiles have all of the same properties as Image Recognition missiles. Upon impact, they reduce the target's SHP to zero. Shields may not recharge for a period equal to 1d6 (or 1d12/2, round down) rounds.

    Leech Missile (WC4): Same as above, except upon impact, the ship also may not move or fire any weaponry for the same period.

    Starburst Missile: Starbursts have the same properties as dumbfire missiles. They may be set to detonate at any point along their flight path. When detonated, the missile causes 2d6 points of damage to all craft within one range unit of the hypocenter.

    Coneburst Missile: Same as a Starburst, except the damage is increased to 6d6 within two range units in a 60 degree arc directly ahead of the hypocenter.

    Flash-Pak: Flash-Paks have all of the same properties as torpedoes, except their speed is increased to 10 and they need a 10+ to be shot down by flak. They will completely destroy any capital ship that has less than 1500 hull points maximum, but will do nothing to any ship stronger than that.

    Long Range ImRec: Has the same properties as a normal Image Recognition missile, but remains active for 3 turns.

    Enhanced Long Range ImRec: Same as the Long Range ImRec, but damage is increased to 20 points.


    I'll need to give more thought to the rest of the Prophecy-era ordnance before posting anything. Meantime, what do y'all think?
     
  2. RC1207

    RC1207 Petty Officer

    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    635
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    São Paulo, SP, Brazil
    Sounds good
     
  3. Avacar

    Avacar Vice Admiral

    Messages:
    743
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    28,135
    Here are my programmability thoughts on each of these (as relates to WCTOO. Obviously it is easy to implement anything in pure WCTO, since it is run by a game master manually). Note that missiles are already their own database table, so any differences in range/damage/guidance are a piece of cake, but any handling differences need to be manually coded.

    Well the firing aspects shouldn't be too bad.. but I doubt it has 'all the same properties'. Does it need to hit the target to detonate, or does it detonate at a fixed range? When I'm finally done with DFs, they can 'miss' their target and hit later targets instead. Unless the Mace is to work like that, this isn't as easy to code as you may think. The radius damage-falloff shouldn't be too hard, but is also new code. Moderate to Significant
    Piece of cake then, with about 2 lines of extra code to just identify them as using the dumbfire code. Trivial

    Well the firing and guidance aspects are easy. The on-hit reducing SHP to zero is also easy, although a bit of extra code. The 'cannot regen for X turns' is not straightforward; at the moment there is nowhere to store that information, so I'd have to do some reimplementation to make it work. Significant
    Well now this is also affecting yet a new set of stats. Involves more carry-over variables and a lot more checks. Significant

    If the 'detonate anywhere along their path' is determined by the pilot, I'd say this would end up being coded a lot more like how I intend to code flak fire, where you'd pick the square of detonation, and not worry about firing it. If they also follow the 'can't fire at targets who turned' rules, then this is a completely unique targetting system. Coding wise, there is a lot of work to be done in either case, mostly since I haven't figured out an interface method for flak yet. Significant.

    Coding is moderate once the Starburst is already coded. Requires a non-radius explosion, which, thus far, we haven't seen in your above requests. moderate

    As long as the lock on mechanisms are the same, this is trivial. Sounds like just an extra entry in the missile table, with a small check for target hull points on-hit.

    Absolurtely trivial to code. A 1-line entry in the missile database and its yours. Trivial

    Also a piece of cake. (Although I should mention some added difficulty to all of these trivial ones is that we'd need to manually go through and add the missiles to the ship templates). Trivial



    Overall your suggestions range from 'I could do it today' to 'this would be left until after I get all the other features on my plate finished'.
     
  4. capi3101

    capi3101 Rear Admiral

    Messages:
    2,202
    Likes Received:
    173
    Trophy Points:
    26,985
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Norman, OK, USA
    Well, I wasn't thinking about WCTOO when I posted this...mainly I was just voicing some thoughts I'd had on the matter while I was working on counters, and wanted to see if anybody else had any other thoughts on them. Anyways, comments on the comments...

    Mace Missile: If you go back and look at how they were used in WC2-SO2, Maces essentially were very powerful dumbfires. I thought I'd read somewhere where Maces would automatically detonate after so long if they hadn't hit anything (maybe in WC4; they had a number of "hold down the trigger until you want it to pop" weapons in there such as the Starburst, and the WC4 version of the Mace might've been one of thems). Might just've been my imagination and I'll have to check into it.

    Starburst Missile: I suppose it would be similar to flak, except of course that you could only choose hexes directly ahead of the ship (i.e. along the same firing path as a dumbfire missile) in which it could detonate. And no, I didn't intend for this one to follow the "can't fire at a target that's turned" rule; you forget some rules at five in the morning if you don't have them open in front of you...

    Coneburst Missile: Yeah, that would need a conic explosion...though you might be able to pull something with the guns-firing code to simplify matters (you could treat the missile as a ship that fires its range two guns once and then dies, or something like that).

    - Of course, no ships natively use the Starburst or Coneburst Missile anyway, so discussing them may be academic anyway. I'd suggest a set of
    - advanced game rules at some point in the future that might let you customize your missile loads, ala WC3/WC4...though that's just throwing that
    - out there for consideration.

    Stopped before I got to Prophecy's HARM missile series...and I still haven't got a good idea for how they might be handled...
     
  5. Ilanin

    Ilanin Captain

    Messages:
    258
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    10,535
    One other missile you haven't done is the Skipper, unless that's appeared somewhere else I've not seen. I think it's do-able without needing to introduce the sort of complicated cloaking rules that would be required for the Strakha, though.

    Skipper Missile: As Torpedo, except it travels for an extra round (so 4 rounds, range 16). At the end of each combat phase, a Skipper cloaks (if uncloaked) or uncloaks (if cloaked). When cloaked, a Skipper cannot be engaged by any weapon type.

    (yes, I know that theoretically it would be possible to shoot down a cloaked Skipper, but it's not exactly likely.)
     
  6. capi3101

    capi3101 Rear Admiral

    Messages:
    2,202
    Likes Received:
    173
    Trophy Points:
    26,985
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Norman, OK, USA
    I have given a little bit of thought to the Strakha/Excalibur/skipper missiles and their cloaking devices. It's difficult to incorporate a system that makes an in-game object unseen when you'd still know where that object is on the board (by the very nature of the game). SFB has a solution for this in the Captain's edition and it may be possible to do something similar (if that solution isn't too overly complicated, as a lot of things are in that game).

    Let's take a look...yep. It's like reading stereo instructions. Skimming......fade-in/fade out periods, no active fire control during the fade-in/fade out, burns energy, can't lock onto the cloaked ship, an effective range penalty applies against that ship, stuff that can nullify the effect, less likely to set off mines...there's a weapon we haven't touched yet...can't evade while cloaked, advanced rules...cloaks increase the base point value of ships by a third...and there is a set of advanced rules that allows the ship marker to be removed from the board while cloaked, using a log to track the craft's movement while cloaked. That's interesting...I hadn't seen that before.

    Probably a better way to handle shooting at a cloaked object would be to require an optimal arc shot while the weapon is cloaked, not allow refires, and add a slight range penalty to the shot (+1 or +2; SFB has a Range 5 penalty but that would put all the guns in WCTO out of range). They could not be actively targeted by missiles (but could still be subject to their damage effects, and are still valid targets for missed dumbfires). The device is activated in the end phase, and has a fade-out period of one round (i.e. the bonuses for being cloaked don't apply until the next end phase); none of the ship's weapons may not be fired during the corresponding combat round. I debate as to whether or not to include a "fade-in" period; there are several instances in the WC universe where a ship can immediately drop its cloak by shooting its weapons.


    Anyway...went back to look at Mace missiles; the way I described it this morning is consistent with the WC4 version of the weapon. Secrets of the Wing Commander Universe (which has a description of the weapon carried on the Morningstar) says it's basically a dumb-fire missile with more oomph.

    Mines: Put them in the hex the craft is in, not armed until after that craft moves away. Next craft that flies through that hex (like flak) must roll to see if the mine is detonated (same Targeting Roll as flak). If detonated, the same amount of damage as a dumbfire is applied to the offending ship. Even the laying ship can set off the mine once dropped.

    - Also opens up the possibility of setting a battle in a minefield (ala WC1). If the mines are given a detection/blast radius, it'd make things all the more interesting...
     
  7. Dondragmer

    Dondragmer Commodore

    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    20
    Trophy Points:
    12,035
    Is there anything in the in-game statistics or fiction to suggest that Flash-Paks are faster than torpedoes? The fact that they don't become the dominant anti-capital-ship weapon suggests one of:
    1. They're much more expensive than torpedoes,
    2. In some way they're less effective than torpedoes, or
    3. Once the Flash-Pak becomes public knowledge, countermeasures are simple and cheap. (Based on the description in WC4, you could defeat a Flash-Pak by opening all the airlocks. If you have time, order everyone into pressure suits first. This should already be in your damage control manual as a desperation move for dealing with catastrophic fires.)
    For variety, it would be neat if Flash-Paks remained a viable alternative to torpedoes, but only in special circumstances, and take skill to use correctly. Making them slower than torpedoes would encourage their use at short ranges, which is what we see in the game.

    Also, in the WC4 opening, the Flash-Pak takes time (more than a second, less than a minute) to destroy a transport. I haven't played WCTO, but would it be interesting or just pointless if the Flash-Pak took time to function? Would there be any entertainment in knowing that your carrier is going to explode in two turns, so you try and ram someone with it?
     
  8. capi3101

    capi3101 Rear Admiral

    Messages:
    2,202
    Likes Received:
    173
    Trophy Points:
    26,985
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Norman, OK, USA
    My take on Flash-Paks is that they got the same bad rep as the Lance fighter (given their close association with one another), and a disgusted populace/government pretty much nixed their continued use. I mean, this is a weapon that literally cooks you to death. That and you start seeing a new generation of ship come out (namely the Vesuvius-class) about the same time it was deployed; would've been rapidly obsolete against the new lines of warships out there. That and there were no wars to fight once the Black Lance affair had ended.

    Nothing says they couldn't have seen a resurgence during the Nephilim War, though whether or not they'd have been effective against the bug hulls is another matter.

    You're probably right in that they should be slower and shorter-ranged weapons than torpedoes. A delayed detonation effect could also be interesting...though there are no rules for ramming in the game as yet, so at best you'd only be able to get in a parting shot.
     

Share This Page