Wing Commander miniatures game

Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
So a little bit of an update today. The public libraries around here have opened their MakerLab partnership and as part of that, there is a 3D Printer badge program. It's not particularly special, it's just a program that lets you use a 3D printer. What does this have to do with the TableTop game? Well it means I can create counters and ships and such fairly easily. Now I haven't finished the badging program just yet, but really it's just a rubber stamp away at this point and then I'll be able to reserve time on the 3d Printers.

So what's first on my 3d Printing list? Well, ships obviously!
10481


I've got a project file all setup to print 2 Bearcats and 2 Dralthi IV in different orientations so I can figure out which way it will work best to print ships.

But I've got other things that will be printed up. For one thing, I'm working on some rough ideas for the 'pilot console' design. The Pilot Console will be a tray of some form that will hold the pilot, ship and load out cards and permit the player to track different effects of their ships. How many shields they have, how many stress tokens the pilot has, how many hull points, etc.

As a part of that, I'm thinking about how to track hull points and shield points. I want to keep this simple to keep the game fast, so at present, my thinking is as follows:

10482

You have 2 double-columns on the pilot console, one for shields, the other for hull points. You would have 2 pegs for each category. The first peg goes in the leftmost column, while the second goes in the rightmost column of the section. The left peg would represent the 'tens' while the right peg is the 'ones' (anyone else feeling like they're back in grade school now?). And you simply move the pegs as needed.


10483For example, The Bearcat has 28 shields and 15 hull points. so it's pilot console would start out with pegs like so:
10484

And you just move the pegs as you need to. If it loses 4 Shields, the peg in the 8 sport would be moved down to the 4 spot. Nice and simple. easy to see what your shields and hull points.

I'm also entertaining the idea of making the Pilot Console a storage tray as well. So you would be able to store the indicator pegs, the ship model, the base, and the cards all in the console.

So stay tuned.
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
What kind of 3D printers do they have available?

Cura's a pretty good program for prepping up 3D prints; I've used it myself for a few things. Has the virtues of being free and largely platform-agnostic (or at least well supported anyway).
 

Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
What kind of 3D printers do they have available?

Cura's a pretty good program for prepping up 3D prints; I've used it myself for a few things. Has the virtues of being free and largely platform-agnostic (or at least well supported anyway).
A pair of Dremal DreamMakers. I don't remember the exact models off the top of my head.
 

Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
So I'm considering an idea regarding the game and I would like to A- put it down for reference sake, and B- ask for feedback on it. At present, the cards are designed to conform with standard CCG dimensions, that being 2.5inches by 3.5 inches. I did this to facilitate a 'card building' mechanic and allow the players to customize their wings.

I'm considering scrapping the card building mechanic as I've been using it and going in a different direction. Firstly the ship cards would be enlarged. Secondly, individual loadout would be abandoned. Third, for ships that have the option, there would be support for 'multi-person' crews. For things like Trainer ships, EWACs operation variants, bombers, etc, you would be able to use multiple pilots in different positions.

Why enlarge the card? I've been looking at the damage system. At present, the damage is a simple subtraction method. You take X damage, so you subtract X damage from Y value starting with shields. That seemed a bit too simplistic. So I started considering various options for making some ships more susceptible to secondary damage while other ships are more resilient. I had an idea in the back of my mind about a damage table, where you roll on a table for each point of damage an apply the result, results like 'Disabled communication system' 'Damaged shields' 'Damaged power plant' etc. That original idea was devised before the current rendition of hull points and shield points. With the values being what they are, forcing the player to have to roll on a chart 4 or 5 times in a single turn just because you lost 5 hull points (when you may have 20+) seems like it would lead to a lot of frustration, and a lot of trouble tracking damage results.

So here is my thought: For each attack, not each shot, but each attack that you suffer damage in, you roll a dice and see if you need to draw a damage result card or not. These charts would be individualized to the fighter. And it would be something like this:

The Hellcat has 10 Hull points base:
If it has 8+ hull points, only draw a damage result card on a 9+
if it 6-7 hull points, only draw a damage result card on a 7+
if it has 3-5 hull points, draw a damage result card on a 4+
if it has 1-2 Hull points, draw a damage result card on a 2+

Like I said these tables would be individualized to the fighters, so lighter fighters, improvised fighters, pirate fighters, etc might have something like:

if it has 10-12 hull points, draw on a 8+
if it has 7-9 hull points, draw on a 6+
if it has 3-6 hull points, draw on a 3+
if it has 1-2 hull points draw on a 2+

As I mentioned the individual loadout would go away. Using the space on the larger card you would now have the option to load different types of missiles in different slots. A bit more like how it was handled in WC3.

So thoughts?

edit: When I talk about the enlarging the card, I'm thinking of making it something like 3.5" x 4" or maybe 3"x6"
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
You might consider tarot size - 2.75" x 4.75". I've recently learned that they make card sleeves that large; opens up the whole "stick an overlay on top of a card and shove it into a sleeve" ability when you're working on the prototype. If you object to using tarot for the backing, you probably could find blanks. 2-3 index cards glued together for the needed thickness/weight and trimmed to size would also work (index cards are typically 3x5, so you'd only need to take a quarter inch off both sides).
 

Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
You might consider tarot size - 2.75" x 4.75". I've recently learned that they make card sleeves that large; opens up the whole "stick an overlay on top of a card and shove it into a sleeve" ability when you're working on the prototype. If you object to using tarot for the backing, you probably could find blanks. 2-3 index cards glued together for the needed thickness/weight and trimmed to size would also work (index cards are typically 3x5, so you'd only need to take a quarter inch off both sides).
That's a possibility. I really need to sit down and build a layout kit with everything that 'could' be on the card(s) and figure out what size I actually need.
 

Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
So... progress of a sort. I did some design work crunching and came up with a 3"x6" card design. I'm still working to keep the 'card building' mechanism.

So we have the ship card:
10505

My thinking is that this would be a cardboard 3"x6" card, probably have it laminated. But you can see there are several changes above and beyond the size.

Firstly the Burn and turn values are now separated on the card. I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not. I split them up here because I had the room to do so. But because Burn and Turn are so closely aligned in the game, I'm thinking having them be 2 parts of a split stat is a better move. Future revision... er maybe reversion. Anyway.

I've included a 'Damage Table'. The damage table comes in 2 sections. The upper section determines on what dice roll you draw a damage result card. This is divided by how many hull points the ship has remaining. Each turn you take damage you roll a dice and if the result is within that range you draw a damage card. Damage cards determine effects on your ships systems and include the following:
  1. Communications Systems
  2. Reactor
  3. Shields
  4. Engines
  5. Target Tracking System
Each system has 3 states:
Normal - undamaged and functioning properly.
Damaged- the system has taken some damage and is not working properly.
Destroyed- the system is no longer functional.

If you draw 1 card for a given system, then it is damaged. If you draw a second it is destroyed.

The systems have different effects and haven't been quit formalized yet. But right now my thinking is as follows:
  1. Communication systems:

  • damged - Must re-roll all successful communication based actions
  • destroyed - unable to use any communication based actions including taunts. Friend or foe type missiles will also not be able to distinguish between you and enemy fighter.

  1. Reactor:

  • damaged - Loose 2 Energy tokens
  • destroyed - Loose 4 Energy tokens

  1. Shields:

  • damaged - Total shields reduced to 50%
  • destroyed - Unable to regenerate shields

  1. Engines:

  • damaged - loose 33% of your burn value
  • destroyed - burn value is reduced to 1

  1. Target Tracking System

  • damaged - must re-roll successful gunnery skill checks
  • destroyed - must re-roll successful gunnery skill checks with a -1 gunnery skill
And all of that brings me to the second part of the damage table:
Tracking the system status. You can see it's check box system with marks for 'damaged' and 'destroyed'. Simply check off the extent fo the damage.


Another change I put on the card is that I broke out the load out section. Rather then simply have a single slot with the total missiles for the entire ship, now the ship has a given number of slots that can each hold a given number of missiles. In the case of the Bloodfang it gets 3 slots with 2 missiles each.

I mentioned that I figured the card would be laminated. Part of that is for the load out slots. This would allow the player to use a felt tip marker to write in their missile types in the slots:
10502

I figure the Bloodfang was built by the Kiranka clan and was built to the highest order they could possibly obtain. So it has a fairly high damage threshold, only hitting a 50% chance of system damage when it down below 1/3 of its total hull points, and having an ability that allows the player to re-roll the dice to see if they need to draw a damage card for the first third of it's hit points.

Now I mentioned that I'm still working with the idea of a 'card builder' mechanic so the pilot will still be a transparent sheet that goes over the figther card. No particularly huge change there. just some spacing changes:
10503

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Threw together some other sheets just for variety and to show some of the scope for the loadout options and the damage tables:
1050710508105091051010511105121051310514
 

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Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
So I've had a bit of a semi-quasi-productive day today. I'm getting closer to a point where I feel like I'll be ready to start doing pre-alpha play testing and as a part of that I'm working on fleshing out stats. This is a point where using something like excel has been a huge time saver as I can simply enter the bits of data and allow Excel to do whatever calculations I've set up. In this case I set up a spreadsheet to take the burn value, turn value, shields, hull points, how many flares and/or decoys the fighter has, how many missiles in total it will have, how many torpedoes it will have, how many and what type of canons it will have and let Excel calculate the total points for me.
2019-03-19.png

I also sat down and put some brain to... computer memory and came up with a preliminary design for the pilot console. the idea for the pilot console is that you would slot the ship card and the pilot card into it, it would be held up so that you can see them, but your opponent can not. You would then use a series of pegs to count power token, missiles/torpedoes, shields, hull points and pilot stress. My entire idea behind the design is to enable you to be able to look at it and see all that information right away. I've got an idea for how to build some prototypes of the flight console but I won't be able to get to that till sometime next week.
pilot console.png

I also tried my hand at some logo design... with varying results.
Try #1 -
logo.png


Eh... basic... bland... boring I think.

Try #2-
logo-color.png

Okay... not as boring. But, Just not feeling. Whistler said it screams 90's Fansite. And... yeah it really does.

Try #3-
logo-design_2.png


LOAF hooked me up with some vector graphics based on the WC1 logo. I donno, This doesn't seem like it's right.

So I tried some 90's era nostalgia by dropping the DPI some:

Try #4-
logo-design_2-32dpi.png


Well, we're moving away from the 90's fansite logo... but I donno. Not feeling it.

Try #5- Here I tried to go with more of a Wing Commander-esque feel, with out making it Wing Commander. So trying Gold instead of silver, using a couple of fighter images for flair.
LOGO-3.png


Try #6- For grins I tried dropping the DPI to get more of that Old-school look to it:
LOGO-3(32dpi).png


Try #7- Yeah... something seems off about it. Well as a bit of a mechanical answer I figured since the point of the game is to pair a fighter with a pilot, have a pilot in the logo:
LOGO-3-02.png


Still not feeling it, but then again I should have been in bed a good 3 and a half hours ago so I'm probably looking at too hard right now. So going to bed and will look again tomorrow after work.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
I think #3 is good. The single fighter to the right of the logos is nice, but the one on top of the A just looks like an inspect conspicuously landed there.

Also where did 'Flight Commander' come from? You call the game whatever you want, but there was already a well known fan project with the same name: https://www.wcnews.com/fanprojects/flightcommander
 

Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
I think #3 is good. The single fighter to the right of the logos is nice, but the one on top of the A just looks like an inspect conspicuously landed there.

Also where did 'Flight Commander' come from? You call the game whatever you want, but there was already a well known fan project with the same name: https://www.wcnews.com/fanprojects/flightcommander
*shrugs* trying different names for experimentation sake. Plus I'm putting more serious thought into actually trying to publish the game so I will kind of need to come up with my own IP and names. Right now I'm kind of running with "Commander Air Group".
LOGO-8.png
 

Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
So... something of an update today. I had posted a design idea for the pilot console the other day:
pilot console.png

Well I spent a decent amount of time cutting and drilling and came up with a sort of prototype of the pilot console. It's not perfect, and still nowhere near what I envision when I try to market the game, but then again at this point I'm nowhere near that stage anyway. This is just for alpha testing of gameplay mechanics.

The design is such that it's intended to allow you to track the information on each fighter at a glance. So no 'calculations' or references. Just counting... mostly.

For most items on the pilot console, it's just a matter of how many pegs you have in that section. 2 pegs in missile slot 1 means you have 2 missiles in that slot.

the only sections that are different are the shields and hull points section. Because some ships have upwards of 50 shields or hull points, the console needs to be able to account for that range. But have 2 groups of 50 pegs would make it rather difficult to see what you have at a glance. So the idea here is that you have 2 columns of numbers, running 0-9. A peg in the first column represents the 10's, which a peg in the second column represents the 1's. So a peg in 1(10) and a peg in 2(1) under shields means the ship current has 12 shield points.

pilot console prototype.jpg

Like I said, it's not 'final' but for play testing purposes it works.

When I get to a point of marketing this game, I'm hoping to make the pilot console a storage item as well. So you can store your ship model, base, pilot card, ship card, and pegs in the pilot console itself meaning you only have this one block to store rather then several items.
 

Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
Got a bit of an announcement for today... I've finished compiling version .01a of the player handbook.
2019-04-04 (2).png

This contains the basic rules for fighter vs fighter combat including the stats for missiles, and cannons, along with the rules for dealing full body collisions, clipping another ship and dealing with pilot stresses.

If anyone is interested or inclined I would appreciate getting some eyes that aren't my own reading through it and make sure everything makes sense and I covered everything I mention in the book.
 

Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
Also I was toying around with some 3D models from Thingverse, not planning to print anything right now, just toying around with models and sizes:
2019-04-15 (4).png



And then Defiance Industries informed me that there was a bit of a size shift between WC4 and Prophecy and that while sizes in Prophecy were more realistic they were about half-scaled compared to WC3/4. So with that in mind... well I did some number crunching and came up with this:
2019-04-15 (5).png


So I gotta say, the Devastator looks a whole lot more intimidating at that scale.
 
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Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
So the first round of playtesting is less than a month away. I've got a group of 6 people signed up to participate in it... and that means I'm motivated to get everything ready for it.

Right now I'm planning one 3 teams of 2 people playing 3 different game setups. The setups will be as follows:

Game 1:
Cadet Bowman piloting a Hornet with 2 Speculum missiles, with Troy Carter piloting a Hornet with a single heatseeker
=vs=
2 Kilrathi First Tooth pilots, piloting Dralthis armed with 2 Hunter Sight missiles each.

Game 2:
Boktoth 'Red claw' piloting a Dralthi with a single Fang Missile and First Tooth piloting a Strakha equipped with Heat sight missile
=vs=
Confed Rookie piloting a Thunderbolt armed with 5 Speculum missiles

Game 3
Confederation Major piloting an F-103A Excalibur armed with 12 Speculum missiles
=vs=
2 Kilrathi First Tooths piloting Dralthi IVs armed with 3 Hunter Sight missiles each.

I've got some backup games planned if time permits. Try and get a big boomer in there with a Longbow versus 4 Dralthi IVs perhaps. Or maybe 3 Darket vs 3 Hornets. Something like that.

of course, that means I'm rushing to get game pieces made and based so they are available to be used for the game. To that end, I've been doing a lot this last 10 days or so.

For one thing, I needed missile tokens. But I couldn't find any means of making missiles myself, and I couldn't find any options for buying something and converting them that wasn't going to be like $50. So I turned to a friend of mine and asked her if she could hammer some cheapies for a 3d file that I could get Shape ways to produce. So produced a file that was used to make this:
SAM_4242.jpg

I sent the file into ShapeWays, and had them cast in "White Versatile plastic" and... well they will work for testing, but it's nothing something I would want to use for demoing at conventions and such. The texture is fluffy and looks kind of cheap.

Beyond the missiles, I've been getting ship models produced. Some through ShapeWays, some through the 3d Printers at the maker spaces I mentioned a while back.
IMG_1840.JPGIMG_1844.JPGSAM_4238.jpgSAM_4239.jpg

The 3D Printers are functional for most of the fighter models, but they require a lot of clean up The Longbow came out of the printer the cleanest, but as you can see there is a lot of material to cut away.

Shape ways works out fairly well... assuming they think they can produce models based on the files. See when they look at the model and the materials options you pick, they do some checking to make sure they can actually do it. But there are times where there they CAN do it, but are concerned the material isn't strong enough, or the part isn't thick enough to not break. So they will send it back and refund the amount for the model and suggest you re-submit it with "Print it anyway" selected which is basically you saying "No matter what, I am paying for this and receiving what you send me." The models of the Darket and Excalibur fell into this category. So they didn't get made by ShapeWays. What got made by ShapeWays were a trio of Hornets and a Thunderbolt.

The Thunderbolt turned out really nicely and I'm actually hoping I'll be able to paint it before the playtesting session.

The Hornets turned out really nice... save for the laser cannons. They were a bit... um.... unimpressive shall we say. And since giving the model Viagra wasn't an option I cut them off and replaced them with lengths of brass rod.
SAM_4240.jpg

I've tried 4 times to use 3D printers to print the Dralthi models.... but it just doesn't work, at least not any way I've tried to print them yet. It's not just the amount of clean up, but the size of the model relative to the amount of clean up and the likely hood of having an 'oops'. So I sat down and worked out some parts to build the Dralthi Models using cardboard like I had previously with other models:
dralthi I.png

With all of that being said, I've building up a nice fighter wing:
SAM_4243.jpg
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
I've had a read through your game instructions, and I know we discussed this a bit on discord. I do like the idea of this game. The handbook was... intimidating and confusing because of a lot of redundant language and fluff text that make your game look a lot more complicated than it is. That said, you could probably adjust your rules to make things like pilot stress and power distribution an option for people that want to customize their games to make them a bit quicker and so on.

Anyway, without modifying any rules, I did a quick edit just to organize your rules for clarity. I was approaching this as someone coming in cold not knowing anything about the game and trying to figure out how a match will play out. I tried to make sure nothing important was left out. This isn't intended to represent what you should have in your final rules, but by eliminating repetition and extraneous and irrelevant info I basically reduced the legnth of the document to a third of it's legnth. (of course the copy/paste on the tables is a bit messed up, but this is just an example and not intended to be used for publication). The edit is definitely heavier handed than it needs to be, but for me I found a lot of the examples just got in the way. I tried to leave them in place where they help clarify the language of the rules.

This excercise helped me get a clearer view of how the game works and led to a couple of questions:

Is there a set size for the overall play area? The size of the gameboard is not defined anywhere.
The secondary system damage cards seem obvious but they aren't defined anywhere in the rules, just referenced when discussing systems damage. Power distribution: There are 3 options: guns, sheilds, engines... but the console lists W, S, G.? Should G be E?
I assume "win" = kill all enemy fighters first? Win conditions are not defined in the guidebook.

Other minor observations: some things change names from one part of the document to others. .. so it needs an edit for consistency. Things like Resolution phase become "reset phase" and so on.

There's probably some other questions but those are the ones that come to mind for the time being
 

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Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
I've had a read through your game instructions, and I know we discussed this a bit on discord. I do like the idea of this game. The handbook was... intimidating and confusing because of a lot of redundant language and fluff text that make your game look a lot more complicated than it is. That said, you could probably adjust your rules to make things like pilot stress and power distribution an option for people that want to customize their games to make them a bit quicker and so on.
This is something I have been ping-ponging back and forth for almost 5 months now, and I think I've managed to 'on one hand, but on the other hand' myself into a corner and I've forgotten how to turn around. Yes, these could very well be a kind of 'tier 2' sort of rule set, something you would use by choice when you want a little more options beyond the basic rules, but then again being able to choose offensive ability over shields and engines was something that set Wing Commander apart from other flight sims of the time and given the scale of the game (assumed) I can't find a good reasons to not include it in the basic rules. Of course I don't have a good reason to include it either.

It's likely this will change after the day of play testing I have scheduled next week. So... yeah. we'll see what I come out of it with.

Anyway, without modifying any rules, I did a quick edit just to organize your rules for clarity. I was approaching this as someone coming in cold not knowing anything about the game and trying to figure out how a match will play out.
Which is exactly what I'm in need of. As of the time I posted the file, the only people who had read the hand book had been people who had also been involved in the development of the rules themselves. Trying to edit your own material... well, it's a bad idea at the best of times.


I tried to make sure nothing important was left out. This isn't intended to represent what you should have in your final rules, but by eliminating repetition and extraneous and irrelevant info I basically reduced the legnth of the document to a third of it's legnth. (of course the copy/paste on the tables is a bit messed up, but this is just an example and not intended to be used for publication). The edit is definitely heavier handed than it needs to be, but for me I found a lot of the examples just got in the way. I tried to leave them in place where they help clarify the language of the rules.
No worries. The tables are easy enough re-build. I may have questions about your edits when I read it, but I'll post them up here.

This excercise helped me get a clearer view of how the game works and led to a couple of questions:
Questions are welcome. I'll provide direct answers where I can. Where I have a response, but not a direct answer I'll note it as such. Stuff like 'I have an idea... but I don't want to confuse the rules with it at this stage' or 'I have an idea... but I haven't touched rules for it yet' or whatever.

Is there a set size for the overall play area? The size of the gameboard is not defined anywhere.
Not at this time. For the playtesting next week I'm just using 2'x2' squares of fabric to denote the 'play area.
- right now my thinking is that there will be 'mission sheets' that denotes the intended scale of the game, the size of the play area and any other particular notes for the mission. Something like "Patrol Encounter" would be a small game, having between 2 and 6 ships in the game and take up a 2'x2' play space while a larger setup like "ForCAP" would be on a 4'x6' area and may include 20 ships.

The secondary system damage cards seem obvious but they aren't defined anywhere in the rules, just referenced when discussing systems damage.
That would be because I totally blanked out and didn't include the "Secondary System Damage Cards" in the materials needed to play the game. Thanks for the catch. Yeah, these are a deck of cards that you would draw from when you need to.

Power distribution: There are 3 options: guns, sheilds, engines... but the console lists W, S, G.? Should G be E?
Huh... given how much I've been working on the pilot consoles I'm amazed I didn't notice that. Yes, G should be E. No idea why I listed it as 'G'.

I assume "win" = kill all enemy fighters first? Win conditions are not defined in the guidebook.
As of this moment, yes. individual missions may have different victory conditions, but in so far as the basic fighter v fighter rules that I'm testing next week, yes. Having something on the board while your opponent has nothing is considered a 'win'.

Other minor observations: some things change names from one part of the document to others. .. so it needs an edit for consistency. Things like Resolution phase become "reset phase" and so on.
Welcome to why it's a bad idea to try to edit your own work. You stop being able to see those sorts of things.

There's probably some other questions but those are the ones that come to mind for the time being
Further questions are welcome. I may have a couple after I read your edits.
 

Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
So working my way through your edits. I'll just list off any sections you edited that I have questions about.

page 1, under The Setup:
Decide how long a game you want to play. The more resources you decide to start with, the longer each battle will take. A 500 point game should be playable in under 30 minutes. Larger games with as many as 3,000 starting points could take several hours to play. [I highly recomment moving the decimal point to the left on all the point values and rounding to at least the nearest half point]

- um... what decimal points? Points are a bit wonky right now but there shouldn't be any decimals or half points.

And wow, you weren't kidding when you said the tables got messed up. But yeah, the comment about the points is the only question I ave right now (gotta love end of semester stresses).
 
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